Secular Science Leaders Defend Baby Butchering
Instead of joining the outrage against the dismemberment and marketing of baby body parts, science leaders rush to defend the grisly practice.
The 10th video from the Center for Medical Progress shows leaders at Planned Parenthood conspiring to keep information about their harvesting of baby body parts secret—revealing that they know it’s illegal. The outrage by Republicans was well expressed in a viral video clip from the second Republican debate this week, when Carly Fiorina dared the President and Hillary Clinton to watch the videos (reposted by WND on Facebook from CNN).
Cutting up an unborn baby, whose heart is still beating, to harvest its brain—who on earth could support such a practice? Here’s who: Big Science.
Proposed fetal tissue ban raises alarm for Wisconsin researchers (Science Magazine). Kelly Servick writes for the AAAS Science Insider news as if it would be a terrible thing for science to stop cutting up baby body parts. She refers specifically to the CMP videos as the trigger for Wisconsin’s efforts to stop it: “A Wisconsin bill that would limit the research use of fetal tissue from abortions is gaining momentum, over the protest of scientists who say the measure would stifle progress in disease research.” Here’s the wisdom of one of the objectors: “This is shutting down research for purely moral purposes—it’s shutting down research because people disapprove.”
In Wisconsin, an early clash over fetal tissue (Science Magazine). In another piece, Kelly Servick worries that Wisconsin’s bill might cause some researchers and businesses to leave the state. Servick whitewashes the statements by Planned Parenthood managers revealed in the CMP videos: “The videos show Planned Parenthood officials discussing how the group fulfills requests from researchers for samples from aborted fetuses.” She says nothing about the illegal practices of altering abortion techniques, failing to get informed consent, or haggling over the price of parts.
Research on gene editing in embryos is justified, group says (Science Magazine). Reporter Gretchen Vogel justifies another practice that has long been considered unethical even among secular scientists: editing human embryos. Remember not long ago when scientists, fearing a Pandora’s Box, called on a moratorium on the use of CRISPR/Cas9 to edit human embryos? (6/05/15) Now, Vogel quotes a consortium of scientists that (surprised?) finds it to be “ethically justifiable.” She only quotes one critic who objects on safety grounds, not ethical grounds.
UK scientists apply for licence to edit genes in human embryos (Nature). Daniel Cressy, Allison Abbott and Heidi Ledford write approvingly of the UK’s effort to legalize gene editing of human embryos. Although a healthy “debate” continues, the UK wouldn’t want to fall behind China. One proponent says, “The use of genome-editing techniques in this context is really the same as using any other method on an embryo that is not going to be implanted into a woman, and which will be destroyed after a few days of culture.” Yes, they’re going to die anyway, Mengele would have argued. Gretchen Vogel hums the same tune at Science Magazine.
The cloning controversy (Science Magazine). Remember the assurances by scientists that embryonic dissections would never be used for cloning? My, how we’ve evolved. Sally Smith Hughes reviews two new books that accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative:
The contemporary scientific community largely takes for granted the safety of recombinant DNA technology and its utility for practical application. It was not always so. The two books under review probe the science, politics, legal parameters, and practical repercussions of the so-called recombinant DNA revolution of the 1970s. They chronicle in detail the breakthroughs and contentions accompanying the invention of recombinant technology and the raucous controversies over its potential safety. Both books also tackle the resulting shift in ethical, aspirational, and legal landscapes in biomedical research as molecular scientists rushed to form industrial ties, universities accelerated patenting and licensing activities, and entrepreneurs created biotechnology companies.
That’s all Hughes has to say about ethics. Contentions? Those are in the rear-view mirror.
In Congress, all but 3 House Republicans voted to defund Planned Parenthood; only 3 Democrats joined them (Life News; see short summary of the 10 CMP videos in this article). President Obama vowed to veto any such efforts, even if Senate Republicans can get the bill past the Democrats’ filibuster. On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton confused the butchery of babies as a “women’s health” issue and admitted she has not watched the videos. But Planned Parenthood is known for abortion, not for “women’s health” services. The Daily Signal from the Heritage Foundation maps 665 Planned Parenthood centers across America, but 13,450 clinics that could take up the slack, providing comprehensive women’s health care services. Congress could simply redirect the annual $500 million in funds to these other centers, relieving taxpayers of being part and parcel of Planned Parenthood’s illegal and immoral practices. Whether that happens remains to be seen, but seems unlikely given the current political environment (8/02/15).
If you object to the whitewashing of history and the barbarity of treating the unborn as commodities, speak up! Write principled and articulate comments to Gretchen Vogel, Kelly Servick and other enablers. Especially if you are a scientist or have scientific training, you need to let the Big Science cabal know that they do not speak for everyone. Put some fear into the spokespersons who take such a casual attitude about issues that speak to “the character of our nation,” as Fiorina said. Dare them to watch the videos and defend what Planned Parenthood is doing.
It’s astonishing that to scientific pragmatists, full human rights vs. butchery is just a matter of inches in the birth canal. Now, even full birth is not a guarantee, as the CMP videos show; Family Research Council president Tony Perkins is astonished that all but 5 Democrats voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Republicans were unanimous in support of this bill that “makes it a criminal offense for an abortionist to allow a born alive infant to die, whether by neglect or by actively killing the child.” What have we become, that such an issue is even controversial? Where are the old “pro-life Democrats”? They have vanished. The political divide has become a moral divide. One party is unanimously against abortion. The other, with the support of the most pro-abortion president ever elected, is for unfettered abortion on demand for any reason (even convenience) at any time.
Darwinian philosophy is the root of these inhumane practices. If human embryos and unborn babies are just clumps of tissue evolving through animal stages (see John West’s Darwin Day in America for documentation of this evolutionary argument), then adults can do whatever they want with them. To see how far down the slippery slope Darwin has taken the world, follow Wesley J. Smith’s articles on Evolution News & Views (example).