Bush's Flawed Stem Cell Rationale genre: Hip-Gnosis & Little Red Ribbon-Hood & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation
Today George Bush vetoed the stem cell bill that had been passed by overwhelming majorities in the House and the Senate. Tony Snow, the White House Press Secretary, when explaining the Bush position stated "The simple answer is he thinks murder is wrong." As I've thought about Snow's message, it seems obvious to me that it was crafted to appeal to those on the religious right who are vehemently opposed to abortion. It is another clear example of the Rove strategy...which is to deliver a carefully crafted message to each constituency in order to solidify their support and motivate them for the upcoming election.
I decided to offer an equally simplistic demonstration that clearly points out the absurdity of the Bush position as well as the fact that it frankly does nothing to prevent "murder" and can actually be construed to facilitate euthanasia or murder. Here's the argument in pictures:
The above image of an eight cell embryo is the predecessor of a viable blastocyst. It must successfully mature within the fallopian tube...exit the tube into the uterus...and successfully attach to the uterine wall while continuing to mature.
In order for a woman to test positive for a pregnancy, the blastocyst must successfully attach to the uterine wall and trigger the ongoing production of progesterone which is necessary to prevent the shedding process. If this fails to happen the blastocyst will be flushed from the uterus and no pregnancy will be recorded through testing. Essentially, this means that those who oppose embryonic stem cell research expect scientists to preserve more embryos (which are not yet even viable blastocysts) than nature is able to preserve.
In fact, one could argue that abortions occur naturally all the time. Allowing scientists to use some portion of the existing embryos that are scheduled to be destroyed would potentially provide for saving more lives than are naturally destroyed by the human body...assuming one even believes that an embryo is a human life as opposed to a group of cells that have some potential to develop into a blastocyst that has some chance of attaching to the uterine wall and becoming a verifiable pregnancy.
Clearly the rhetoric is far from accurate and not based upon any legitimate rationale. Further, in the zeal of those who seek to ban abortions, based upon their rigid religious interpretations, they are willing to forego the ability to save existing human lives. They prefer to prevent viable research from moving forward by blocking the essential government funding that could help those in obvious need. They do this even though nature destroys more embryos and blastocysts than would ever be needed to provide the stem cell lines that would allow for the important research to advance.
In the end, the arguments put forth by the President and those groups who contend that they are preserving the sanctity of life can just as easily be equated with "murder". The hypocrisy is abundantly evident. While they assert that science is callous and careless in its pursuits and in respecting human life, it is actually science and scientists that have saving life as their defining principle. Those who oppose them are simply lost in the ideology of fanatical religious extremism. I don't believe in an after life, but as far as I'm concerned those who seek to stall these efforts to save life can take their religious babble and their righteous pontifications and go straight to hell.