Maggie Gallagher

Michael Fumento, author of "BioEvolution: How Biotechnology Is Changing Our World" (Encounter Books; read review), lists the "wonders of progress" from stem cell research:

"Just last February, two different human-autopsy studies demonstrated that stem cells transfused into the marrow work their way into the brain, where they can repair neurons and other vital cells. Other studies have shown that when injected into animals with severed spinal cords, stem cells rush to the injury site, effecting repairs." At a conference in late 2002, French researchers reported they had performed 69 stem-cell transplants with an 85 percent disease-free survival rate. "Stem cells have been injected into damaged hearts and become functional muscle," notes Fumento.

All of these treatments share one thing in common, according to Fumento: Not a single one used stem cells from human embryos. Stem cells can be harvested from adults, from the placentas of newborns, in myriad ways. We do not need to eat our own young in order to pursue the wonders of stem cells.

Ronald Reagan would have been glad, but not surprised, to know that. He never accepted the idea that human progress and human decency are fundamentally in conflict. He knew in his bones that truth and goodness and abundance are not enemies: They go hand-in-hand. That's the deepest of our American faiths.

Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.