In 2001, President George W. Bush instituted a new policy which would bar federal funding (meaning taxpayer-funding) for research on embryonic stem cells. The move was heralded as an advancement for ethics and the respect for human life, because it stopped taxpayers from paying for the creation of embryos just so they could be used for research, creating numerous ethical dilemmas. In response, California decided to spend over $3 billion on a stem cell-focused research institute, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, to make up for the loss of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
It did not end well.
According to Capitol Weekly, “CIRM has yet to fulfill the campaign-generated expectations of the 7,018,059 voters in 2004 who voted to create it and who thought they would see new, widely available, miraculous cures. Impressive results, some of which have saved lives, have surfaced from some of the clinical trials. But the elusive stem cell cure that would be ready for the general public is yet to hit the streets.”
Yes, some progress was made in some diseases, but the miraculous or silver bullet cures that were pushed by advocates failed to materialize. In fact, the situation today mirrors the debate right now over fetal tissue research. Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services moved to end federal taxpayer-funded fetal tissue research, including preventing taxpayer dollars from going to outside fetal tissue research and preventing the federal government from buying fetal tissue for research. Just like miracle cures were trumpeted to oppose the Bush administration decision, miracle cures and doomsday-scenarios are being used to argue for the further exploitation of aborted babies.
And just like in 2001-2004, scientists and the abortion lobby (which stands to profit from the sale of aborted baby body parts) ignored real scientific research which showed that life-affirming research could be used to achieve even better results.
For example, the Charlotte Lozier Institute notes that there are alternatives to fetal tissue; “One is use of miscarried tissue, which can be used to study development as well as causes of pregnancy loss. A modern alternative is use of what are called “organoids,” which are constructed from adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Organoids are organ-like structures and tissues that have been shown to mimic normal development and can also be used to study abnormal development and causes of birth defects. Adult stem cells, iPS cells, and postnatal tissue (neonatal and adult) can also be used to study infectious diseases and therapies, including construction of ‘humanized mice’ to study infections.”
California teaches us to be wary of politicians and vested interests pushing the exploitation of aborted babies in the name of science.