The little boy came galloping into his living room with his six-guns a-blazing. On cue, his dad made a series of agonizing contortions, grabbing his chest and groaning loudly as he fell to the floor in dramatic style, making sure his little gunslinger received full compensation for his cowboy skills. The little boy loved the scene. Gunfights were always OK in this living room corral—as long as the little guy was allowed to win.
When dad decided to fire back his imaginary pistols, the pint-sized Paladin refused to die in agony. Instead, his face switched from glee to gloom, and his lip slightly quivered: “No fair. Gunfighters don’t sposed to die. I don’t want to die, daddy.” Life and death games are always more fun if you are on the winning side of life. We never really outgrow this lesson, do we?
I thought of this as I considered how most of us consider ourselves “pro-life,” but we are a little unsure of how far this conviction should take us. Do we, for instance, refuse treatment for a life-threatening disease on the grounds that the treatment was derived from the stem cells of human babies who were aborted? It is a dilemma which tests the seriousness of our pro-life convictions. Like the little boy, we don’t want to die. Sure, we don’t want to destroy babies in the womb just to harvest their stem cells, but we really don’t want to die. Should we refuse treatments derived from human embryos?
Thank God, that isn’t a choice we actually have to make. You may think this is a choice you will have to make, but it isn’t. Here is the reason you won’t have to make that choice. There are no treatments being successfully used to cure anything with embryonic stem cells. None. Nothing is being helped—much less cured—by embryonic stem cells.
You may not believe this claim, or you may be confused by it. After all, you might have received stem cell treatments. One of your loved ones may have been helped by stem cell treatments. So, you think that stem cells are being used to treat disease, right? You are partially correct. Stem cells are being used. However, the stem cells which are being used to treat diseases are adult stem cells—not from human embryos.
In fact, a group of doctors who form the Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics has compiled a list of stem cell success. So far, according to their count, there are 73 successful treatments for diseases which use non-embryonic stem cells. And there are 0 successful treatments using embryonic stem cells. The score is 73-0 against taking stem cells from aborted babies. In any game, 73-0 is a lopsided blowout. Even in a staged gunfight, the dad insisted on at least 1 victory. Embryonic stem cells have none.
Unfortunately, politicians have exploited the success of non-embryonic stem cells to continue aiding the abortion industry by encouraging embryonic stem cell research, but the science is against embryonic stem cells. Common sense morality is against them, too. Embryonic stem cell research destroys human life, while non-embryonic research extends it. The choice is obvious, isn’t it? The good news for us is that maybe we don’t have to die—thanks to non-embryonic stem cell research. The sad news, on the other hand, is that some life has to die for embryonic stem cell research to take place.