A position to which Ramesh Ponnuru deftly commented ("Ron's Moment: stem cell delusions" NRO July 27, 2004):
What I find most disturbing is just how easily public opinion can be swayed on this issue by simple appeal to human emotion. In his speech, Ron Reagan appealed to his audience's sympathy by comparing the plight of the embroyo with that of
She’s very brave. She is also quite bright and understands full well the progress of her disease and what that might ultimately mean: blindness, amputation, diabetic coma. Every day, she fights to have a future.
What excuse will we offer this young woman should we fail her now? What might we tell her children? Or the millions of others who suffer? That when given an opportunity to help, we turned away?
Think about it, Ron says. An embroyo . . . "no fingers. no toes. no brain. no spinal cord. no thoughts, no fears, no pain."
Compared with the life of a 13 year old girl -- a girl with fingers, toes, brain, spinal cord, et al. -- and the countless others we may be able to save, what's the cost of a few cloned embroyos sacrificed in the name of science?
Nothing, really, says Ron.
A trifle, especially were we to believe
Methinks Ron Reagan could benefit from a basic lesson in human biology: "When Do Human Beings Begin? "Scientific" Myths and Scientific Facts", by Dian Irving (International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 19:3/4 (February 1999): 22-47).
It's actually quite elementary, the kind of stuff we all learned (or should have learned) in high school . . . but, as was demonstrated last night, can very well forget, caught up in the crowd and the manupulative spell of a skilled rhetorician.
Incidentally, Senator Kerry agrees with Ron Reagan, and just last week attached his name to a bill supporting what pro-life organizations are referring to as "clone and kill" procedures, permitting scientists to clone unborn children only to be killed to obtain their stem cells for use in research. In doing so, he joins countless others in opposing the Bush Administration's ban on such experimentation.
You can guess what will happen if he wins the election.