Media Fumbles the Story on Stem Cell Research

Pro-life leaders acrss Illinois have joined together in a united strategy to defeat HB2354, the Reproductive Health and Access Act, popularly known as “Illinois FOCA”.

Join the United Pro-Life Front against Illinois FOCA

The earliest this bill could come up for a vote is Wednesday, March 18. For the next 24 hours all pro-lifers in Illinois need to call our State Reps and tell them to “Vote NO on HB2354”.

You can find your State Rep’s information here or by calling 217-782-4141.

When you contact your State Rep, focus on THREE KEY POINTS. These are the issues that are going to swing the critical number of votes our way:

  1. HB2354 would nullify the Illinois Parental Notice Act.
  2. HB2354 would force taxpayers to fund thousands of abortions.
  3. HB2354 would impose comprehensive sex-ed on our kids.

There’s so much that’s bad about this bill, but these are the key points to raise with legislators.

Media Fumbles the Story on Stem Cell Research

Josh Brahm of Right to Life of Central California has done a yeoman’s service by amply documenting “9 Things the Media Messed Up About the Obama Stem Cell Story”.

Writing at Newsbusters, Tom Blumer rightly calls Brahm’s analysis “the definitive dissection of the comprehensive media failure in reporting on President Obama’s recent Executive Order allowing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.”

Here are the nine things the media “messed up”:

  1. Failing to report on the importance of induced Pluripotent Stem Cells—cells which behave like embryonic stem cells, but do not requiring killing human embryos to obtain them. Major advances have already been made on these cells.
  2. Omitting that the diseases everyone is talking about curing (diabetes, Parkinson’s, paralysis) have already been treated with adult stem cells.
  3. Perpetuating the sanke oil salesmanship that stem cell research will likely cure Alzheimer’s disease. As Brahm explains: “This doesn’t mean Alzheimer’s disease won’t ever be cured. It just means that the cure will probably not come from stem cell research, of any kind. It will probably be a separate area of scientific research.”
  4. Failing to report on the very real dangers of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research—including, among other things, their propensity to form tumors.
  5. Confusing or combining reproductive cloning with “therapeutic” or “research” cloning. As Brahm notes:
    There are two different types of cloning: reproductive cloning, and research cloning. The term “reproductive cloning” has been used to describe when a human clone is implanted and delivered as a full term pregnancy. “Research,” “experimental” or “therapeutic cloning” have been the terms used for the other type of cloning. In this, a human embryo is cloned and experimented upon in his or her first few weeks of life and then killed.
    Opinion polls show that the vast majority of Americans disapprove of both types of cloning. (83% against reproductive cloning, versus 81% against research cloning.) …
    Many media outlets noted that President Obama supposedly condemned cloning, saying “And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society.”
    Read that again. Did President Obama condemn all human cloning, or did he only condemn reproductive cloning?
  6. Creating a false choice that “leftover” embryos will either be used for research or be killed.
    Notwithstanding the serious moral objections to embryo adoption articulated by many Catholic moral theologians, the fact remains that embryos can legally be adopted—and in fact, many have been.
  7. Dehumanizing human embryos. As Brahm says: “It’s much easier to pacify our feelings toward human destruction if the people in question are dehumanized. Who would care about a simple ‘ball of cells?’ But embryologists know that there is so much more going on here than a simple clumps of cells.”
  8. Responding to a Strawman argument that pro-lifers are concerned about embryos being misused in laboratories (other than killing them). “Pro-lifers are not concerned about embryos being misused in a laboratory. We are concerned about embryos being killed in a laboratory.”
  9. President Bush’s 2001 policy restricted tax dollars being used on “all” stem cell research.
    President Bush did not ban any type of stem cell research. What he did do was restrict the use of federal tax dollars to fund research on embryonic stem cells that came from lines that had already been created. Bush also allowed funding for research with adult stem cells. As Brahm explains, “On the contrary, President Obama is the one restricting tax dollars for stem cell research. In fact the only type of stem cell research President Obama seems interested in funding is the very type that has consistently failed to produce any positive results.”
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