Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chalk another one up for stem cell research!

My opinions on reproductive issues became clearer the instant I saw a plus sign on the first pregnancy test I took. Suddenly the whole, "life begins at conception" idea really made sense. My thoughts on abortion in this country are still a work in progress. I think it's wrong, and the few people I know that have had them deeply, deeply regret them. However, the problem I see with it is not a constitutional issue and the government should keep its morally dejected nose out of it. Dealing with this issue needs to start before a woman feels a need to make the choice. We are missing the point when we focus on Roe vs. Wade and all the freedom of choice rhetoric.

And I oppose fetal stem cell research, and am really irritated that our tax dollars can go to this. However, I don't know what to do with the "left over" fertilized eggs just sitting around. Again, this is an issue that needs to be addressed before it comes to the question. You would think that the scientific genius that figured out how to get a non-working penis to work again would be able to accurately implant the perfect amount of fertilized eggs with minimal loss, but really, what's more important?

I have done a bit of research on this and the biggest problem with fetal stem cell use vs. adult stem cell research is that we are already there and have had several big successes (reversal of type II diabetes, for example) with the adult stem cells. Here is the latest: Horse stem-cell technique to be tested in people

The problem with fetal stem cell research, besides the destruction of a life, as small and worthless as some deem it to be, is that even after they figure out how to train them to be what they need to be, they still have to figure out how to get it to work without the body rejecting it. It is the same issue as organ donation today, it has to be a match. So, one theory they are considering is to "clone" a person, take a fertilized egg, strip the DNA, insert the persons own DNA, and harvest the stem cells that are produced, IF they can get it to work, which they haven't figured out yet.

So, even if they use all these eggs, and figure out how to train them, none of them will be saving any lives. And for me, with an alternative already being tested with success, the ends do not justify the means.


trinity_ray said...

I think abortion is to Trinity as gay marriage is to Chrissy. I have an opinion but I just can’t get fired up about it.

It’s tiresome to me. So many people hold so many strong beliefs on this issue. The conversation has become toxic…no one will ever change they’re mind. And so we’ll argue forever and policy will change and change again depending on who’s in charge.

My mom was a single 17 year old mother. She drove to the clinic and planned to have an abortion. She had a good cry in the parking lot and then went home.

I strongly support the pro-choice side.

When I drive by the Planned Parenthood on Comm Ave. and see all of the protesters there praying and screaming and judging…I hate them a little.

chrissyrudd said...

Ummmm... if you hate them isn't that being a little fired up? I just feel sorry for them. I think their energies would be better spent on organizations like Rachel's Project or A Woman's Concern, or like I said, changing the focus to before the choice comes up. I too am on the pro-choice side, basically because it's not the governments place, but as for stem cell research, I did change my mind the more I researched it. How about you? Anything suprise you as you went through becoming a parent yourself?

And cheer up! We love you and are so glad you are here!

trinity_ray said...

It's not the issue I'm passionate about when I drive by the's the people outside who would spend a day of their life making someone else's day harder that gets me "fired up." But I forget that quickly too. I mean, I'm almost 34 now...I get that there are shity people in the world. Harboring that hate only ruins my day.

I haven't done as much research into the stem cell issue as you. Generally I guess I believe that we're all a huddled mass of humanity trying to make something good of our short time here. I believe deeply in the power of science and knowledge to make our lives better...more comfortable. And I'm willing to let scientists do what they need to almost every concievable scenario.

trinity_ray said...

Oh...and I don't think my opinions were drastically altered by becoming a parent. I mean, it was amazing...but I'm still pro-choice / pro-science.

In fact I believe there are plenty of crack moms in America for whom abortions should be more readily an option. That is to say, if anything becoming a parent has reinforced my opinion that not everyone should become a parent. It's a tough job for which not everyone is equipped.

I learned that the cord-blood-bank thing is a racket. I'm all for free communial banks but these services that charge you $2,000 a year to hold your kids cord are a scam.

Anonymous said...

*sigh* I told myself the other day, I do not have time to get sucked into these things anymore. Oh well.

I was thinking about these babies/tissue/specimens that are products of abortion and why is it wrong if they are already aborted to do something perceived as a good? Then I started thinking about terminally ill people, death row inmates, or even those recently deceased. Why aren't we using those people and bodies for research? These people are going to die anyway and very soon or they have already died. Why even put them into a casket? They can't feel anything. Then I was thinking that we humans have dignity given by God. Our beings were made in His image, therefore worthy of treating with respect. I know you can donate your body to science or undergo experimental treatments, but it is always a choice. If we can't automatically take good organs out of a deceased person without their (or family) consent, they why can we do what ever we want with people of this demographic (aborted people)?

The more you find out about how exactly an abortion happens (the procedures) and what the baby or its pieces look like afterwards, the more horrified you will become. (pictures and sworn court medical testimony about procedures:

Why am I passionate about life? Because these are people without a voice being killed legally. It's the most discriminating crime I know of.

Yes, respecting all life as gifts and not rights is a change in the right direction and providing help for those post-abortive. But why do you "hate" these people who are genuinely praying and hurting that tiny people are being quietly eliminated? Perhaps many of these protesters have had abortions themselves and deeply regret them and want to spare others that pain.

I know of one infertile mother, adopted 2 children and hopes to adopt more, prayed outside of a clinic and even approached some women and offered to adopt their baby. How is that being hateful and judging when all she wants is another baby in her arms to hold?

I do think we need better support for single mothers to make a life for their family but much much more help is needed for them to be able to choose adoption. Oooh, you can see this fires me up. :) I really shouldn't spend so much time doing this, housework piles up.

Anonymous said...

To clarify, someone who is addicted to crack by no fault of their own has no right to be born? How are crack babies less human or less deserving of basic civil rights than healthy babies wanted by their parents? I agree that those babies shouldn't leave the hospital with those mothers. Drug users shouldn't have their kids; too dangerous. Another example of where better support is needed for these situations.

chrissyrudd said...

Wow, some deep thoughts here, some that I agree with and some that I don't. But did you read the stuff about the horses? Isn't that kind of cool. There are so many success stories about adult stem cell research, and I think that's pretty cool.

trinity_ray said...

“Hate” is an exaggeration of the truth…for dramatic effect I suppose.

Let’s say I find it very “distasteful” that anyone would get in the face of someone and pass judgment on that person at such an excruciating moment in their lives. Maybe your friend who stands outside clinics offering to adopt people’s babies thinks she’s doing those women a favor but I’m sure she’s not. It’s a very personal decision and to interject yourself in those people’s lives at that moment is akin to judging them. To pray in public outside of a clinic is to publicly presume that these women are committing a sin (an opinion you may hold very strongly but still no less an “opinion”)…thus again passing judgment at an excruciating moment in their lives. It’s distasteful and grossly inappropriate in a country ruled by law…not by the church.

The bottom line is that this simply all comes down to ones definition of “life.” And I don’t believe life starts until the baby hits the table and takes its first breathe independent of its mother’s body.

I know your arguments about fingernails and thumb sucking and all the rest…and I respectfully submit that I’m not swayed by any of those arguments.

Until a fetus can survive independent of its mother’s body than it’s a cluster of cells waiting to be something more.

Again, this argument is tiresome to me. People believe one thing or another thing and no one is ever persuaded…they just become more entrenched in their views.

I say abort horses…especially the ones addicted to crack! You ever tried to ride a crack addict horse?

Anonymous said...

sorry, I really need to discipline myself from posting too long. My first duty is as a wife and mother and not a poster, although this is more intellectually stimulating. I do think all of this adult stem cell stuff is fascinating. It's also nice to have a science technology that is cutting edge but doesn't step on anyone's toes. Okay, I'm going a posting diet now.

chrissyrudd said...

Despite the fear I have of being judged by you Trinity, because I respect your opinion and value your friendship, I have to disagree with you. You seem so sure, how do you know you are right?

I believe that life does begin at conception because of scientific evidence and what criteria most scientists define for life, plus my experience of being pregnant. Even a parasite, as my doctor jokingly called Emily, is considered alive.

Why does someone who doesn't believe this have a hard time being judged for walking into an abortion clinic? It's an easy enough fix and should not effect them emotionally, but it does. Many women falsely believe this is the only option, because other information is not supplied to them for political reasons.

I believe that prayer for someone is not judging them.

If scientists need to do what they need to do for our good and comfort, why not follow Josef Mengele's example? And why stop at babies of crack users, what if they are able to separate out the genetic code of babies prone to homosexuality? How many parents would not want to put their child through a life of judgement and persecution? This is already done with testing for Down's Syndrome. How sad to lose the diversity and the possibility of what they could become. It is dangerously close to "A Brave New World". Who will decide who should be encouraged to have abortions and who shouldn't?

I don't judge those who have had one or are thinking about it, it's not my place, I've never been there. But I don't think it's a good thing that anyone should do, it's not healthy for anyone involved, and when asked for my support have given it with love.

I would also point out, the reason we have such a stock pile of embryos is that people can't have babies, but want them, and are willing to pay, which is often an overlooked alternative.

Anyway, I'm praying for you in a non-judgemental, teasing way, to my God, who may or may not be better than yours, because, remember, it's freedom of, not from, religion.

trinity_ray said...

You know the thing I've found that I enjoy most about blogging is the way it allows for this sort of discussion. The fact that there's some delay in posts and the fact that one has to write out their arguments (thus considering their words and positions a bit more carefully) is a nice thing...and something I didn't expect when i started my blog. I like having an excuse (the first time since leaving college) to write essays.

Anyway, I respect both of your positions...they're clearly well considered and they're well stated.

As for a reply to your last response...

I would agree that women are not always given all of their options in equal measure. It's unfortunate.

As for the emotional difficulty with having an abortion....of course i believe that abortions are emotionally difficult but I don't think this is relevant in defining "life." As a child I cried when I lost a beloved doesn't mean the toy was a "life."

As for the Josef Mengele's point I think this is a bit off topic. Of course I wouldn't support human experimentation. We're just talking about abortions.

And as for praying for, that's not judging them. BUT praying for someone in front of them I would say is judging them. If you told me you got drunk last night and I dropped to the ground and started praying out loud for you...wouldn't you feel a little "judged?"

chrissyrudd said...

Points well taken! Thanks! I too like to think and write, I really miss putting my brain through hoops every now and then.