August 12th, 2001
After reading reactions from over twenty pro-life organizations and a few prominent individuals on the decision of President Bush about federal funding of Embryonic Stem Cell Research (ESCR), I still wonder why we keep thinking "within the box".
The terms of the Bush decision were: "Should ESCR be federally funded?"
Bush's response was that killing embryos is morally wrong. However, stem cell cultures derived from embryos already killed will continue to be funded.
"Within the box" thinking says: "It is a good decision, but we wish Bush had forbidden the profiting from killed embryos altogether."
"Outside the box" thinking would question ESCR itself, not just the funding of it.
The only thing Bush should say is: "Killing embryos, for all purposes, is equivalent to killing adult human beings". This would have allowed prosecution of any lab, whether federally funded or privately funded, according to the current laws against murder.
Why should it be OK to kill embryos with private funds?
Do we allow gangsters to kill if they pay for their own guns?
The moral question "outside the box" is much more important than the question the media got us focused for the better part of this summer.