Trafficking in Human Parts Nothing New
Shocking videos of abortionists selling baby body parts is only the latest in a long line of Darwinian ethical barbarities.
It always starts with good intentions. Biomedical researchers just want to help people. That’s how eugenics began; it’s embedded in the name, “good” genes. But by most people’s moral standards, it’s not right to do wrong to get a chance to do right. You wouldn’t murder a person to take his kidneys to heal a person dying of kidney disease, for instance. Does it really matter if the person is really young, or not even born yet?
The videos from the Center for Medical Progress are shocking the nation right now, but if history is any guide, the furor will quiet down in short order. Nobody will be prosecuted for breaking the law, no fines will be paid, and taxpayer money will continue to flow uninterrupted to Planned Parenthood (see this Medical Xpress article for how it will likely play out politically). In fact, if anyone gets in trouble, it will likely be CMP for going under cover to expose the gory truth. Why is this? History is our guide. Does anyone remember “Silent Scream”? Does anyone remember the bags of aborted babies in trash cans, the horrors of Kermit Gosnell’s clinic, the wars over partial-birth abortion, or the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood workers conspiring with sex traffickers and advising young girls on how to practice sado-masochism?
Planned Parenthood will likely survive this latest scandal. There’s big money involved, for one thing. And since Darwin rules the centers of power, the courts, media and academia will turn a blind eye to any outrage that smacks of “religious” ethics. The Medical Xpress piece shows the power of the secular science media to frame issues in terms of “women’s health,” concern about “the poor,” and “medical research” while downplaying the gruesomeness of the videos and the amoral nonchalance of the perpetrators. A few Republican politicians will mollify outraged voters with impassioned do-nothing speeches, then will likely move on to other pressing issues, like getting re-elected. Meanwhile, the president’s director of Health and Human Services has not watched the videos and is not making any plans to launch an investigation.
Update 8/03/15: Senate Democrats filibustered a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, and succeeded in defeating it (Life News). Only one Republican present voted against it.
Embryonic Stem Cells
We’ve reported scientists affirming that ethically clean iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells derived from adult tissues) work just as well as embryonic stem cells (see 5/23/11, 9/11/11, and a recent example on Science Daily). Nevertheless, research with human embryos continues—even though papers and articles reporting the work admit that there are ethical issues with their use. Are not human embryos just a few weeks younger than the fetuses being cut up by Planned Parenthood for sale? Even if not implanted, an embryo has the same genome as the fetus (baby), and is programmed with the same developmental pathway.
To be sure, some embryonic stem cell research is conducted using mouse embryos, like this example in Nature. But why research embryos for regenerative medicine at all, if the goal is not to eventually use the same findings and techniques on human embryos? Another article in Nature from the very same day discusses research using mouse and human embryos to grow organs in a Petri dish. Indeed, the title of Cassandra Willyard’s article gives away the trend: “The boom in mini stomachs, brains, breasts, kidneys and more.” She mentions human tissues 17 times, with the goal of clinical trials looming down the road.
As we shared on 6/05/15, the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technique has opened a Pandora’s Box of ethical issues. Recently, Jeff Bessen wrote at The Conversation that the “CRISPR/Cas gene-editing technique holds great promise, but research moratorium makes sense pending further study.” He is realistic, though, about scientists’ priorities when money and fame are involved:
The gene editing technique also raises concerns. Could the new tools allow parents to order “designer babies”? Could premature use in patients lead to unforeseen and potentially dangerous consequences? This potential for abuse or misuse led prominent scientists to call for a halt on some types of new research until ethical issues can be discussed – a voluntary ban that was swiftly ignored in some quarters.
And now, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Hollywood has reported another gene editing method: “Using Low-Dose Irradiation, Researchers Can Now Edit Human Genes: Effectiveness of Gene Editing in Human Stem Cells Improves Tenfold Using New Technique.” The purpose is honorable enough; fixing muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease and other serious genetic disorders. But if it works on a patient’s adult stem cells, what’s to stop a rogue nation or ambitious scientist from trying it on human embryos?
Perhaps most concerning in recent bioethics news is the lack of concern. This was seen in two recent “science news” articles. In Medical Xpress #1, reporters announced nonchalantly that Canada has joined 60 other nations in approving RU-486, the controversial pill that induces abortion up to 7 weeks after pregnancy. This is the very pill that has alarmed some American businesses (e.g., pharmacies; see FRC) to the point of facing the loss of their licenses in order to maintain their sincerely held belief that life begins at conception. But here’s the nonchalant attitude of the reporter:
“The approval of mifepristone [RU-486] is great news for women in Canada,” the group’s president Vicki Saporta said. “It’s long overdue that Canadian women also have access to the gold standard for medical abortion care.“
It should be emphasized that this is not about access to the pill. It’s about whether Canadian taxpayers should be coerced to pay for it. The reporter apparently was oblivious to the concerns of those who find this morally reprehensible, or else considered their concerns not worth even mentioning. The health of the baby is obviously lost in the fog of euphemism about “great news for women.” It’s certainly not great news for female unborn children.
In Medical Xpress article #2, readers were treated to a history of “Human fetal tissue” that has been “long used for [a] variety of medical studies.” Malcolm Ritter seems to ask, What’s the fuss about cutting up baby body parts? Scientists have been doing it for decades. Ritter begins with a photo from 1954 of a Nobel prize scientist developing a polio vaccine with the help of fetal tissue. The end justifies the means, apparently; he doesn’t ask if that was the only way to produce the vaccine. The fetus (baby) sure had no say in the matter.
Ritter drops some hints that Planned Parenthood might have stepped over the line (e.g., women are supposed to give their consent), but the word “ethics” never appears in the article. Ritter’s timing is directly aimed at justifying Planned Parenthood against the recent allegations of barbarism. “Controversy over a leading U.S. reproductive health group supplying fetal tissue for research has focused attention on a little-discussed aspect of science,” he says euphemistically (“science” not “barbarism”), before launching into his Q&A about fetal tissue research. His account sounds like Planned Parenthood talking points, making America’s leading abortion provider look white as snow.
Just don’t get the baby parts in a “crunchy” way. More wine, doctor?
This is Darwin’s House of Horrors, people. Creationists are not the ones advocating fetal tissue research, eugenical gene editing, and embryonic stem cells. It’s only coming from those who treat humans as material animals no more special than mice. And with Darwin-drunk lawyers, the media, academia and a leftist administration in power, don’t expect their critics to get any better treatment than a yawn.
Suggested video: Listen to Brit Hume’s response to the CMP videos and what it says about our culture.