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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Embryo Value Debated in Europe Too



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Pro embryo-destructive research activists are often so irrational. They claim than an embryo isn’t an embryo but merely a “bunch of cells.” Well, for the reductionist minded, so are they.

They claim that an embryo is no different than the cells you kill when you brush your teeth. But embryos are organisms and mouth cells are not.

They claim that embryos aren’t really human because they don’t have toes and fingers. Yes! A scientist actually said that to me in a debate! Idiotic.

And they say that only USA religionists care about embryos, when in actuality, Germany (as just one example) bars destructive embryo research and outlaws human cloning. Germany is hardly the Bible Belt. 

European law also bars patenting embryonic stem cell products because they come from destroying embryos.

And now, the European Parliament is debating the value of embryonic human life because a petition signed by nearly 2 million people requires it legally. From the NYT story:

Leaders of One of Us, the group that brought the petition, told lawmakers that they were seeking to prohibit the use of European Union funds for research, foreign aid programs and public health activities that are linked to the destruction of human embryos.

“The problem here is with those who claim that an embryo, a fetus, is nothing,” said Grégor Puppinck, president of the One of Us committee backing the initiative. “It is understood that life begins at the point of conception and must be respected,” said Mr. Puppinck, who also called for a ban on “the financing of abortion in development aid.”

And, of course, one of the embryos-are-just-chopped-liver types angrily brings up religion:

Some of the loudest outbursts during the hearing came when Ana Gomes, a lawmaker from Portugal, repeatedly asked whether the European Center for Law and Justice, an organization based in Strasbourg, France, of which Mr. Puppinck is director general, had any links with Pat Robertson, the American Christian evangelist.

Mr. Puppinck said in an interview that the European Center and the American Center for Law and Justice, a law firm and educational organization that Mr. Robertson had helped to establish, shared the same chief counsel. But Mr. Puppinck said he had never met Mr. Robertson and he criticized Ms. Gomes for raising issues that were “not the point of the debate.”

They always do. Pro embryonic research types are almost always the ones obsessed with religion.

Opponents point out the scientific truth than an embryo is a nascent human being, a human organism, and make the philosophical argument that being human matters morally in and of itself. Hopefully that POV will not go away.



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