Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pro-life hypocrisy

The passage on Tuesday of a Senate bill to fund embryonic stem cell research -- and a presidential veto expected on Wednesday killing the legislation -- hits very close to home for [Debi] Martin. Her 9-year-old daughter, Jessi, has diabetes and they both hope stem cell research can some day find a cure.

Martin also feels strongly about the use of embryonic stem cells for research because Jessi was conceived by in vitro fertilization -- and Martin and her husband decided years ago to discard nine unused embryos because she could not have another child.

"I would give anything if I could have had those nine cells to give to have a cure for my baby now," she said. "And I think the worst sin of all, and I am a very religious person, I am pro-life, is to look a miracle from God in the face and throw it away." (Reuters)

Exactly how is this woman pro-life? She's thrown away nine embryos to conceive her daughter and now she wants to throw away more. Martin strikes me as someone who's pro-life when it comes to other people's decisions -- to abort an unwanted child, for example -- but pro-choice when it comes to her own decisions (to have a child via in vitro fertilization, to want that child to benefit from embryo research, etc). Would she have an abortion when push came to shove?

And yet I don't think she's that uncommon among "pro-lifers". What we have is an understandable clash between moral beliefs and our modern sense of entitlement to not be inconvenienced or deprived in any way.

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