I came across this letter to the Illinois Leader today, similar to many I've seen before on the topic of anti-research legislation. I thought I'd share:
Pro-life flat Earth thinkers lack compassion
The more people know about SCNT (somatic cell nuclear transfer) or therapeutic cloning, the more likely they are to support it. But anti-abortionists ["STANEK: It's a mad, mad, mad, mad embryonic kill bill," May 4] want you to think a blastocyst or a few pluripotent cells, invisible to the naked eye, are a human being. Even an unfertilized egg with one's own DNA qualifies and probably individual sperm as well.
I think they want to bestow civil rights on cells so it will be easier to overturn Roe v. Wade. Meanwhile, while the stall regarding stem cell research stymies progress, I am slowly becoming Christopher Reeve with my Parkinson's Disease, albeit alone and without his financial resources. Does my life count for anything? Apparently not. It's just my tough luck.
When I had ovarian cancer at age 43, I was not bitter or angry--after all, everything was done that could be done. But not so with this emergence of anti-science flat earth thinkers which include the President and his minions.
This is a real crime against humanity by the ignorant, non-compassionate people in power.
People with incurable, fatal diseases are justifiably angry at what is being done to them by the current US administration and anti-research pressure groups elsewhere. We have lost five years of progress in regenerative medicine and stem cell based cures already - and the cost of these delays in human life and suffering is staggering.
Those of us lucky enough not to be suffering from heart disease, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, diabetes, cancer, or other degenerative diseases - those of us lucky enough to have health and remaining life measured in decades rather than months or years - should take a long hard look at why we are not participating more fully in the battles over research. After all, we all suffer from a fatal condition called aging. It will kill us all if medical research is blocked. The only difference between us and people like the author of the letter above is time, a few extra years before we are in her shoes. If compassion and altruism are not enough to motivate us, then self-interest must be - or we are all doomed to suffer, grow sick, crippled, and die.