Saturday, March 18, 2006

Life Links

How would you go about making a pro-life case to a largely antagonistic crowd (some of whom are wearing wire hangers around their necks)? STR's Steve Wagner reports on his recent interaction (over four hours!) with such an audience and exemplifies the characteristics of an ambassador.

Ethicist and professor David L. Heikkila has written an excellent opinion piece (HT: on how proponents of embryonic stem cell research and other life-destroying procedures deceptively use language to divert attention from the main ethical concerns:

A new vocabulary has been created for the common issues of abortion, cloning and embryonic stem cell research. Words like pre-embryo, unimplanted fetus, conceptus or fetus are used instead of human child; Somatic Cell Alternate Nuclear Transfer instead of “cloning”; and Oocyte Assisted Reprogramming or non-sexual reproduction for methods that produce a child or some form of life from one cell. The latter three are also called “parthenogenesis” - literally virgin birth. “Stem Cell Research” judiciously avoids the word “embryonic.” The Missouri bill banning human cloning avoids exposing the fact that it only bans human cloning for reproduction while leaving the door open for research.

Old vocabulary has been redefined: Pro-Life is now chosen as a positive motive for stem cell research and opponents are now Anti- or lacking compassion; Pro-Choice hides all forms of abortion behind the woman's right to choose and the original Pro-Life advocates are Anti-Choice. Compassion and autonomy are redefined and offered as “ethical” motives for many life-destroying procedures.

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