There's some good news coming tomorrow as regards science in this country--President Obama is overturning President Bush's policy on stem cell research and saying that science, not ideology, will guide his administration. That's great news for anyone who spent the last eight years in hell watching President "Jesus was my favorite philosopher because he changed my heart" basically do everything he could to ignore science in favor of either mysticism or corporate interests. To be fair, it was more often the latter than the former--I'll leave you to decide whether stupidity or venality is the greater of those two sins.
Of course, the anti-abortion crowd is already up in arms about this:
Already abortion opponents are bracing for a battle. “The administration now steps onto a very steep, very slippery slope,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee. “Many researchers will never be satisfied only with the so-called leftover embryos.”To Mr. Johnson I reply, well, your group won't be satisfied until women are all forced to carry their pregnancies to term, so there's probably no room for compromise on this matter. I can live with that, since support for stem cell research is high, and is likely to go higher as some breakthroughs inevitably come from the work.
And frankly, if we as a nation are able to get to the point where researchers aren't having to rely on leftovers from fertility clinics, so much the better. I know that Johnson is a guy who believes that life begins at fertilization, though he fails to acknowledge that 60 to 80% of such eggs fail to implant, so his opinion on reproductive science is weak at best. I'd much rather stem-cell scientists be able to just get eggs and sperm from donors and make their own embryos--less expense, I'd imagine, and fewer issues with your supply.
We're not there yet, and we can count on people like Douglas Johnson and his allies in the anti-abortion movement to continue to muddle the issue as much as possible in the meantime, because Jesus said it was okay to lie if it's for a good cause. Wait? He didn't say that? Hmmm.