Sunday, April 02, 2006

Does Ray Meier Oppose In Vitro Fertilization?

I was reading through the Utica Observer-Dispatch's collection of short statements by all the congressional candidates on the issues this evening, and my attention was caught by the statement Ray Meier made on the issue of stem cell research.

Meier said,

"I oppose creating life for the purpose of destroying it for whatever purpose. Stem cell research is of dubious medical value and the subject of ethical debate. We should turn our attention to adult stem cell research."

That's a jam-packed statement, much more indicative of complex, if convoluted, thought than the terse statement from Brad Jones, but one thing in particular stood out in the first line. Ray Meier is suggesting the embryonic stem cell researchers create life for the purpose of destroying it.

Of course, that's blatantly untrue. Stem cell researchers use live blastulas that were created for another purpose altogether: To serve as frozen human extras.

Embryonic stem cell researchers get their stem cell lines from blastulas, little undifferentiated balls of cells, that were created en masse for use in fertility treatments. Those readers who are old enough will remember all the news that came out with the first "test tube baby" created through in vitro fertilization.

Well, it's part of in vitro fertilization techniques to create more blastulas for implantation in the mother's womb than will actually be used. This is done to avoid repeated intrusions into the mother's body, and because not all attempts at in vitro fertilization are successful.

After the woman receiving in vitro fertility treatments becomes pregnant and decides not to have any more children, the remaining frozen blastulas are destroyed.

So, if Ray Meier was interested in being fair and accurate, he would have said that he opposes creating life for the purpose of helping women to have babies. After all, it makes no ethical sense to oppose embryonic stem cell research on the moral grounds of not wanting blastulas to be destroyed, but to approve of in vitro fertilization. Either way, human life is ended.

If Ray Meier does really try to have it both ways, and supports in vitro fertilization while opposing embryonic stem cell research, then what he should have said is that he opposes creating life for the purpose of helping sick and dying people to get better. After all, in such a case, the destroying of life is not the matter of debate. Ray Meier would support destroying life in order to make babies, but not in order to help sick and dying people.

It is beyond me why Ray Meier would make such a cruel distinction.

Then there's that strange pair of sentences that Ray Meier concludes his statement with. First, Ray Meier says that stem cell research is of dubious medical value. But then, in the very next sentence, Meier proposes pursuing stem cell research.

Come on, Ray. Either stem cell research is important or it isn't. Don't play these kind of bumbling word games with us voters.

If the Ray Meier for Congress campaign can't work out a coherent policy on stem cell research, then perhaps it's best for them to remain silent on the matter, and allow less muddled minds to wrestle with the ethical issues involved.


Anonymous said...

Ray Meier is a true red rebublican. Don't waste any "ink" on him.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I disagree!

I believe that republican red ink fades quite quickly when exposed to the light of day.


Anonymous said...

the thought of ray meier as a Congressman makes me sick to my stomach.

Anonymous said...

Ray is yet another Repub who, if he removed King George's hand from his pants, just might be able to use his brain effectively for the benefit of all New York residents.