“Just when you think the debate over embryonic stem cells can’t get any more degraded, an outfit called the Campaign to Defend the Constitution comes along and proves you wrong. The group took out two vitriolic full-page ads in The New York Times (at $200,000 a pop) lashing out at religious conservatives as extremists and ideologues for opposing federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research (ESCR).”
John Leo’s latest column on TownHall.com reviews bad journalism and thinking concerning the slippery slope of embryonic stem cell research. It’s worth a read in full at the link above.
Here’s a bit more:
The Campaign to Defend the Constitution bills itself as an online grassroots group of 90,000 people. It would be more accurate to call it a well-heeled creation of the Tides Foundation and its stepchild, the Tides Center, both of which concentrate on funding left causes, sometimes extreme left causes.
Stem-cell funding is a great issue for Democrats and the left this year because it’s a rare instance of substantial numbers of traditionalists willing to oppose a traditional value, in this case, that human life, even infinitesimal forms of human life, must not be destroyed for research purposes. The traditional value at stake holds that slippery-slope concerns are valid — once softened up by the distant prospect of great cures, the public may be willing to move from tiny embryos to larger ones, and then perhaps to the destruction of small children with defects, which Princeton ethicist Peter Singer already favors.
Slippery-slope fears also apply to the possible impact of embryonic stem-cell funding on the abortion wars. In 2001, columnist and author Anna Quindlen said she thinks that the stem-cell issue will decrease opposition to abortion. Once the killing of embryos is routine and government-financed, will size matter?