- Book Reviews
Tuesday, June 1, 2021 : By Standing for Freedom Staff
In a glaring example of the differences between the Democratic and Republican parties in terms of how they view medical ethics and the distinctiveness of human life, the Senate voted 49-48 along party lines to reject a ban on creating human-animal hybrids, or chimeras, for the purpose of research and experimentation.
The Endless Frontier Act, co-sponsored by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., would have criminalized the act of participating in research or experimentation that developed chimeras. It also banned transferring a human embryo to a non-human womb or the transferring of a non-human embryo to a human womb.
Lankford said, “We shouldn’t need to clarify in law that creating animal-human hybrids or ‘chimeras’ is ethically unthinkable, but sadly the need for that very clear distinction has arrived.”
Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, California, wrote a study on the research. He defended the practice as a viable way to create organs for transplant. He said, “The demand for that is much higher than the supply.”
Though the experiments have been unsuccessful, Belmonte said, “This knowledge will allow us to go back now and try to re-engineer these pathways that are successful for allowing appropriate development of human cells in these other animals.”
Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., who co-sponsored the defeated bill with Lankford and Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., said, “Human life is distinct and sacred, and research that creates an animal-human hybrid or transfers a human embryo into an animal womb or vice versa should be completely prohibited, and engaging in such unethical experiments should be a crime.”
The vote went along party lines, with all Democrats who were present voting against the ban and all Republicans present voting for it. Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., did not vote.
The bill would have allowed fines of $1 million or “the amount equal to twice the amount of the gross pecuniary gain.”
The debate takes place amidst disagreement over the use of fetal tissue in research. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was recently caught purchasing fetal tissue and President Joe Biden has reversed the Trump-era ban on the practice. All the projects suspended by Trump will be “reinstated without further review.”
In a sign of what may soon come, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh last September published a study that revealed that they had grafted the scalps, thymuses, livers, and spleens from aborted fetuses onto the bodies of rats, creating what they call “humanized rat models” for the purpose of studying human skin infections. The study was taxpayer-funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the latter being the organization headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC) responded,
“As expected, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, a fanatical advocate for abortion, announced the Biden administration will now force American taxpayers to pay for barbaric experiments using the body parts of aborted babies. Instead of using ethical and effective alternatives, Biden is choosing to reinstate a policy that traffics in the [grisly] remains of what would have been our next generation.”
All of this begs the question: “Where is the line that we won’t cross?” The answer is, there is no line. Once politicians and scientists abandoned the concept of a moral Lawgiver and thus a moral law, they removed the justification for any restraint on human actions. If morality is truly subjective and simply a social construct we create, then there is no reason to be bound by it.
Even if Democrats personally had scruples about chimeras, they would likely never admit it out of fear that such a stance might jeopardize their position on the sacrament of abortion. To their thinking, any and all experimentation must be allowed on embryos and fetuses, otherwise people might begin to question if abortion is immoral and should be restricted as well.
Not-yet-born children have been dehumanized over the past 50 years as little more than “a clump of cells,” and now American politicians and scientists feel no hesitation at buying and selling the body parts of five-month-old freshly aborted human babies and grafting them onto the bodies of lab rats. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, and her fellow eugenicist and Nazi doctor Josef Mengele would definitely approve of both the justifications and the actions of these “progressive” American medical researchers.
It is expedient for the left to push moral boundaries. To their thinking, more organs for transplantation or better knowledge of skin infections is a positive development for those humans who have been allowed to be born, and as such, the ends justify the means.
As Christians and conservatives, we vehemently disagree: How we attain medical and scientific knowledge and progress does matter. As G.K. Chesterton said,
“I do not, therefore, say that the word ‘progress’ is unmeaning; I say it is unmeaning without the previous definition of a moral doctrine, and that it can only be applied to groups of persons who hold that doctrine in common. Progress is not an illegitimate word, but it is logically evident that it is illegitimate for us. It is a sacred word, a word which could only rightly be used by rigid believers and in the ages of faith.”
To Chesterton, the concept of progress required a standard of morality as a frame of reference to show whether society was going in the right direction.
Echoing those words, C.S. Lewis wrote, “Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turn, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”
By abandoning a moral standard, progressives have lost their way, and as this vote shows, America is heading in the wrong direction — and at breakneck speed.