Former First Lady Nancy Reagan praised Senator Frist for his new position, but stem cell research advocates ignore Michael Reagan's opposition, as well as that of his father, Ronald Reagan, who said in 1983, "My administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning."
Senator Frist reiterated his "comprehensive set of 10 principles" that would include a ban on embryo creation for research and a ban on human cloning. But having abandoned the moral high ground in favor of allowing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, Frist has no basis on which to invoke or impose his personal set of 10 principles. His principles are less compelling than, say, the Ten Commandments, which are regularly violated by us all.
If Congress passes a bill allowing federal funding for stem cell research and President Bush's threatened veto is overridden, the world envisioned by Aldous Huxley in his novel "Brave New World" will be ever closer.
Consider a portion of the plot summary (Sparknotes.com): "The novel opens in the Central London Hatching and Conditioning Centre, where the Director of the Hatchery and one of his assistants ... are giving a tour to a group of boys. The boys learn about the Bokanovsky and Podsnap Processes that allow the Hatchery to produce thousands of nearly identical human embryos.
"During the gestation period the embryos travel in bottles along a conveyor belt through a factorylike building, and are conditioned to belong to one of five castes: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, or Epsilon. The Alpha embryos are destined to become the leaders and thinkers of the World State. Each of the succeeding castes is conditioned to be slightly less physically and intellectually impressive. The Epsilons, stunted and stupefied by oxygen deprivation and chemical treatments, are destined to perform menial labor."
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