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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

More wisdom from Tom Delay

"An embryo is a person, a distinct internally directed, self-integrating human organism," Mr. DeLay said, adding, "We were all at one time embryos ourselves. So was Abraham. So was Muhammad. So was Jesus of Nazareth."

He went on: "The choice to protect a human embryo from federally funded destruction is not, ultimately, about the human embryo. It is about us, and our rejection of the treacherous notion that while all human lives are sacred, some are more sacred than others."

An embryo is now given the status of a fetus or more; a fetus will become a living child.  What's going to happen to the child?

Is he going to be examined to see if he will be good breeding material?  Examined to see if he might ever have a congential condition or a condition that might need stem cells to help reverse it?

But we can't use stem cells as they'e a person just like Abraham, Muhammad, and Jesus.  So kill the kids who aren't perfect.  They've had their hour out of the womb.  Time for new cells on that petrie dish.

My logic is screwy?  You bet is.  But no weirder than Tom Delay's.  Sacred he calls cells in a petrie dish.  Sacred!

As an adoptee I have watched many people I know get IVF treatments--"because you understand.  Adoption..so many things can go wrong..."

I have never once said "no you're wrong.  there are so many kids who need good homes." 

I have never once said to those people using their own eggs, if possible, and of course their own sperm, "you frigging egotists; you'll spend a fortune for the possiblity that your own genetic line will be preserved.  Screw you."

No I have never said that.  But I have thought that.  And this whole stem cell mess is bringing up feelings I don't want to have.

Why am I putting this in a RWN piece where I get to make fun of Tom Delay?  Making fun of Tom Delay is one of my favorite activities, and I should leave it where you can laugh---or sadly defend him.

Battle lines have been clearly marked in the past few days.  The stem cell bills have taken all arguments out of the abstract.  They have forced people to examine issues and to be on one side or another.

It's not so simple.  While I was adopted I believe every woman has the right to chose whether or not she has a child or continues or not a preganancy.  This is a first big step toward taking that right away.

Then there all the children who have been abandoned or for whatever reason are up for adoption.

Apparently they're not as important or sacred as the cells in the damned petri dish.

Wouldn't Delay and Bush's time be better spent in talking about those children who are already alive?

No because they're not as sacred as cells in a petri dish.  They're politically expendable.  They don't serve a purpose in this debate.

So let them live in foster homes.  Who cares about their future? it's the cells in the petri dish that are important. Battle lines have been drawn. 

Whoever has rejoiced when they've seen cells in a petrie dish?  A scientist maybe.  But what person has ever said "my child; she's perfect; she's amazing, just look at those wonderful cells."

All the other fights--they're nothing compared to this.  I know where I stand on this issue and I know why.   I cherish life.  Life after the womb.  Life when the baby comes out crying.

Life's incredible.  Life begins when the baby enters the world.

Rejoice over babies being born.  That's when you look at the baby and think that there has never been such a beautiful perfect baby in the world before.  Not when they're cells in the petrie dish.

Sacred is when the baby pees all over his parents for the first time.  That's life

Posted by Pia Savage at 07:56 PM in Right Wing Nut | Permalink

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Comments

You wrote, "As an adoptee I have watched many people I know get IVF treatments--"because you understand. Adoption..so many things can go wrong..."". Gee, you know, having your own child...so many things can go wrong... I have a friend who's biological child has Downs Syndrome. Another has a child that was born with a severe hearing loss. And let's not forget, the children that I work with that have Autism. Those "things can go wrong" problems don't even take into consideration, miscarriage, pre-mature delivery, and all sorts of other problems that can occur when someone has a "biological" child. What these people should be saying is, "I'm selfish and I want my own child, not someone elses." They don't realize that an adopted child would be theirs.

Posted by: mulligan | May 25, 2005 8:57:51 PM

Pia, you wrote:

"I believe every woman has the right to chose whether or not she has a child or continues or not a preganancy. This is a first big step toward taking that right away."

It is easy to believe that every woman has the right to choose whether or not she has a child or continues a pregnancy or not when you believe that embryos are less than human. If they are just an agregate of cells, they can be disposed at will. Pretend, for a moment, if you are able, that you believe that embryos ARE human beings. Now tell me how easy it is to believe that women have the right to kill embryos. There is nothing wierd about DeLay's logic. He simply begins with a different first premise.

You wrote:

"Then there all the children who have been abandoned or for whatever reason are up for adoption.

Apparently they're not as important or sacred as the cells in the damned petri dish.

Wouldn't Delay and Bush's time be better spent in talking about those children who are already alive?"

Nothing of the sort is apparent. It seems to me that one can be concerned with the lives of embryos AND the lives of children who are already born. The two concerns are not mutually exclusive. They just don't necessarely both belong in a debate on the sacredness or disposableness of embryos.

You wrote:

"So let them live in foster homes. Who cares about their future? it's the cells in the petri dish that are important."

Foster homes are by no means the ideal but they are, themselves, evidence of concern for children's future. It beats letting them wander the streets. I, too, am an adoptee. I spent eight months in foster care. My case was happier than that of many but I'm glad that my 15 year old mother did not seek out an adoption for both of our sakes.

You wrote:

'Whoever has rejoiced when they've seen cells in a petrie dish? A scientist maybe. But what person has ever said "my child; she's perfect; she's amazing, just look at those wonderful cells."'

I've never been in the situation but if I were, I would be thrilled that there were live embryos and I would accord them the respect and title of my child. I would not be able to say, "She's perfect" at that point, at least not in the sense of "She's free of defect", but I would certainly think him/her amazing and wonderful.

You wrote:

"Life begins when the baby enters the world."

Have you ever been a mother? Have you ever felt a baby kick or move? Have you ever sung to your 'fetus' or heard a mother sing to hers? I don't see how any woman who's ever experienced pregnancy could make such a statement as the above.

From a purely biological standpoint, you cannot deny that an embryo is alive...it grows, it organizes itself according to the instructions contained in it's genes, it metabolizes nourishment and eliminates waste. Clearly life begins before the baby enters the world or even, in the case of petri dish embryos, it is placed within a woman's uterus. I suppose you mean to say that life that is worth living or worth calling life begins when the baby enters the world. Pia, who are you to make that kind of determination?

Posted by: Craig R. Harmon | May 25, 2005 10:25:07 PM

Duh. When I wrote:

...I'm glad that my 15 year old mother did not seek out an adoption for both of our sakes."

I meant to write:

...I'm glad that my 15 year old mother did not seek out an abortion for both of our sakes."

Posted by: Craig R. Harmon | May 25, 2005 11:20:39 PM

Who am I to make that kind of...Not a Christian; my culture embraces the people who are alive, and puts them above fetuses.

When my sister was pregnant she didn't know if she wanted an amnio. Finally went to "the family Rabbi," who said: "You're not Christian; you have a moral imperative to bring a healthy child into the world."

Yes more Orthodox schools of Judiasm would say the opposite, but we chose to stay with the movements that embrace advances.

I said that while I was personally put off by IVF I would never put in my personal views because they have every right to embrace modern technology.

You crossed a line Craig in your comment. We are all entitled to our views.

Why is your view any more valid than mine? Because the president agrees with you?

Are you telling me that I live in a Christian country and thus have to give up my beliefs because you're so much more moral and so much better than I am?

I've already been told that I have no right to my views because I can't quote just one source that gives me my moral code--in particular The New Testament

Excuse me but that's not my Bible--nor do I think that the Old Testament should be taken literally

How dare you ask me if I've ever been a mother. I know many mothers (not all of my religion--most not) who chose abortion for a later fetus for one reason or another.

Craig you crossed not one line but many in this very cliched answer. You have just given me an answer that I was looking for so thanks

Posted by: pia | May 26, 2005 10:39:17 AM

Craig, you wrote Nothing of the sort is apparent. It seems to me that one can be concerned with the lives of embryos AND the lives of children who are already born. The two concerns are not mutually exclusive. They just don't necessarely both belong in a debate on the sacredness or disposableness of embryos.

It is part of the debate. All human life is sacred is your statement and needs to be protected. You are right, it should not be mutually exclusive, but it is. When the lives of people afflicted with diseases that could be helped by stem cell research but the research is not allowed to be funded because the the life in a petri dish is just as sacred as the lives that do exist now it proves it is mutally exclusive.

To you life to applies to biologcal function and not quality of life...

Posted by: sally | May 26, 2005 5:21:52 PM

Craig I don't usually add extra comments to my own posts--but I found your comment so cruel as to be sickening. it's been bothering me all day.

How do you know anything about me? How do you make moral judgements about me? Do you know if I had a much wanted pregnancy and lost the baby or not? How about if I wasn't fertile, and wanted to become pregnant more than anything in the world?

Does any of that really matter? I cherish life--the living--and many people can attest to that

You might have written the first conservative guest column here; I might have respected you once--but no longer.

I have received comments that seem much sicker on the outside but your comment goes into the top of the heap. You showed how despicable you really are; how morally righteous you are, and gross. Almost every feeling person--including some people on the right will tell you how judgemental and sickening you were.

I have much more that I want to say but this is the nicest that I can be.

Posted by: pia | May 26, 2005 5:36:06 PM

Pia, not knowing whether you had had a much wanted pregnancy and lost the baby or not or if you weren't t fertile, and wanted to become pregnant more than anything in the world I concede that my question was imprudent and had the potential to devastate emotionally. No, I didn't consider that possibility. Yes, I should have. Had I done so, I would not have asked the question. I had no intention of brutalizing you as I clearly have done. I apologize for my insensitivity and my judgementalism.

Posted by: Craig R. Harmon | May 27, 2005 12:46:14 AM

No Craig you didn't consider many possibiliities.

it's not my emotional devestation that I'm concerned with here--it's your attitude in general. "Any woman..." Any man would also I assume.

I'm talking about every woman who ever wanted a child and might have lost it in a pregnancy, and every man who was her partner and went through it with her. Or every woman who never was pregnant for one reason or another. It's the universal woman I'm talking about.

You were an accident; I was an accident; we both lived in foster homes and then were lucky enough to be adopted--I'm told my foster home was great and have nothing against them per se.

Who am I to make that kind of determination? I'm a woman--a person--a living being who treasures life so much that I don't want to die prematurely from any condition that could possibly be treated by stem cell research.

Selfish I know.

Selfish that I don't want any presently living person to die, become demented, live with the horrors of Parkinsons, not have skin grafts work, and on and on and on.

Personally I don't care what you think of me. I do care that you put the unborn above the already born.

I care because in doing that you're saying to a soldier who could have his life back if only stem cell research had been permitted--"sorry, it's more important that some test tube baby be born--then you get the treatment you need for your spinal cord injury, and live with the stares you're going to get, because we can't fix your burns also."

I think your priorities are wrong. I'm only speaking for myself and not the rest of BIO

Posted by: pia | May 27, 2005 6:59:01 PM

Pia,

This may come as a shock to you but I am NOT absolutely against embryonic stem-cell research. I am for granting embryos the value that, in my estimation, they deserve. I believe that parents--and I call them that because I believe that embryos are legitimate offspring--if there comes a time that their embryos become no longer viable--that's probably the wrong word for it but by 'viable', in this context, I mean that they would no longer develop even if implanted into a uterus--should have the right to offer the stem cells from the embryos to whom they have contributed their genetic material for scientific research much as parents of a dying child have the right to offer their child's tissues and organs for transplants. I am not arguing that embryonic stem-cell research should not be allowed. What I AM arguing is that are worthy of the right to be called human beings, that they have the right to the same fundamental rights as any human being, the most fundamental of which is life. When life no longer is a possibility, then their parents should be free to donate the material that MAY--and at this point it is no more than a 'may'--bring about such wonderful results.

What I find apalling is the idea that embryos are, or should be considered, disposable.

Posted by: Craig R. Harmon | May 27, 2005 9:39:50 PM

Craig
You're welcome to any view you might have about anything that you might have.

I don't find exchanges with you to be intellectually stimulating or enjoyable.

You put life before life first; I put already born life first.

We established that in the first comment.

Very noble that you believe that "non viable" embryos can be used for research as they're no longer useful for anything including most if not all research.

I will no longer answer any comments from you on this subject as they serve no purpose, though you might find some sort of perverse enjoyment from them.

Posted by: pia | May 28, 2005 8:33:36 AM

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