Thursday, May 26, 2005

Run, Little Humans! 

Courtesy of Zemblan patriot D.R.B.: Former (and, in an ideal world, future) exterminator Tom DeLay on Tuesday referred to embryonic stem cell research as "the dismemberment of living, distinct human beings for the purposes of medical experimentation," an utterance so demonstrably berserk that it compelled the Washington Post to say, at long last, what bloggers have been saying for some years now:
[I]f Mr. DeLay believes his irresponsible rhetoric, he should not stop at opposing more permissive rules for federal funding of such science. Instead he should introduce legislation to ban the in vitro fertilization treatments that create these embryos in the first place.

Describing stem cell research as dismembering human beings conjures politically useful images of a grisly, abortion-like procedure in which an unborn baby gets torn apart. It's hard, however, to be dismembered if one has no limbs -- being merely a cluster of a couple of hundred non-differentiated cells. These 5-day-old embryos get created all the time in fertility clinics to help people who otherwise could not have children. In a typical in vitro treatment, several more embryos are created than used, and the extras get frozen. Some do not survive the freezing process. Others are discarded at the requests of patients. A survey of fertility clinics in 2002 indicated that there were about 400,000 frozen embryos across the country. Many of these will never be implanted in a woman and will never become babies. All of this is commonplace and accepted because few people regard a group of cells that small as the moral equivalent of a human being. Yet, by Mr. DeLay's standards, each and every one of these embryos is a potential murder victim.
Meanwhile President Bush, ever on the lookout for an opportunity to Affirm Life, is recommending that his constituents adopt discarded embryos "to prevent them from being destroyed." All of which has inspired our esteemed colleague Josh Narins of Remain Calm to found a new organization called P.E.T.E., or People for the Ethical Treatment of Embryos:
We are going to go to fertility clinics, get in, grab the petri dishes, then throw them out the front door as we scream "Free! You're Free Now! Run Little Humans!"
RELATED SIDEBAR: In other Tom DeLay news . . . .
A state judge ruled Thursday that the treasurer of a political fundraising committee organized by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) violated the state's election law by failing to report $684,507 in contributions from corporations and other donors in 2002.

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