I must respond to Ellen Goodman's July 11 column supporting federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. There are many flaws in her arguments, but space limits allow me to address only the most blatant distortions.
She glosses over the fact that embryonic stem cell research "may" offer the best hope for treating a whole list of diseases. She has to say "may" because there is no statistical evidence that embryonic stem cells are any better than adult stem cells for this research.
And adult stem cells can be obtained without killing their host adult. Even assuming that embryonic stem cells are somehow better, there is an ample supply available in the umbilical cords and placentas that accompany every birth.
At another point in her column, Ms. Goodman mentions that the stem cells are "harvested" from the embryos. This is an appropriate term, since harvesting is a term associated with farming.
What these advocates are proposing is farming baby humans for the purpose of killing them to harvest their cells. There is a lab in Virginia doing precisely this.
And if anyone thinks the embryos aren't really babies, there will be testimony in Washington, D.C., by the parents of children who were adopted as embryos. If the misguided people advocating this gruesome research had their way, these children would have been killed.
The bottom line is that someone will undoubtedly conduct this research, just as pro-life organizations will support research on adult and/or umbilical stem cells. But federal money should not be used for something as heinous as this.
Would you want your tax dollars supporting Dr. Mengele's tortuous research on the Jews? This idea is very similar - the Jews (like the embryos) were unwanted, so it was OK to gas (destroy) them.
Federal money is our money, and I don't want mine going to promote such deadly research.
Marc Murray, Evans, Ga.
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