| Value of Life - 6
by Bruce Malone
On June 10, 1993, President Clinton signed a document which allows for taxpayer money to fund research
using parts of aborted human babies. With the stroke of a pen a whole new avenue of medical research
received approval for federal funding and abortion was given an appearance of legitimacy. In anticipation of
this event, Newsweek magazine devoted it's February 22 cover story to "Cures from the Womb." In this
article, Dr. Gary Hodgen, a researcher at Eastern Virginia Medical College, stated that President Clinton's
January 23 announcement supporting fetal tissue investigations was "the greatest day for science since the
Scopes monkey trial."1 Why would Dr. Hodgen consider these two unrelated events as the most significant
advances in science over the last 70 years? Why would this researcher bypass all of the incredible advances
in science and link the Scopes monkey trial to the legitimization of research on aborted human babies?
To answer this question the reader must understand both the reality of abortion research and the significance of the Scopes monkey trial. Some fetal research is most effectively carried out on fetal parts which are as fresh as possible. Brain cells and organs of a baby deteriorate rapidly once deprived of oxygen so they are more valuable for research if they are extracted while the baby is still alive. However, this is a complication for the abortionist because every effort must legally be made to keep a breathing baby alive once removed from the mother's birth canal. Therefore, research on fresh fetal parts of older babies is done by using forceps to pull the baby out of the mothers body until just the head remains in the birth canal. While the baby is protruding from the mother's cervix, the back of his/her skull is cut open and the brain is sucked out. The baby's body is then sliced open and the desired parts are extracted. Although most abortions occur in months 2 through 5 of the baby's development, what is to prevent researchers from harvesting older babies who are more valuable for research?
Furthermore, even at 3 months the baby looks like a miniature human being, having brain waves, a functioning heart, and miniature human organs (which is why the researcher is interested in extracting them). What course of events has led our society to accept this inhumane behavior as allowable or acceptable?
In 1925, the ACLU set in motion the events leading up to the most famous trial in recent history - the Scopes monkey trial. There has been considerable inaccurate and biased reporting of the events surrounding this trial, but the result is undeniable. This was a turning point in American history when the accuracy of the Bible began to be doubted and evolution began to replace creation as the most widely accepted explanation for human origin.
Thus, 7 decades after this historic trial, we have reached the point in America where our children are being taught by a humanistic public school system that evolution is a fact and everything in the animal kingdom is intimately related (being separated only by time and chance events). As one writer aptly stated the situation, "You came from goo by way of the zoo." Is it any wonder classes on self esteem are now necessary? The atrocity and injustice of using the most helpless of human lives for experimental research could be tolerated only after our society was conditioned to accept that there is nothing particularly sacred about human life. If, in reality, we are here as a direct creation of a personally involved Creator, we have no right to destroy that which He has had a hand in producing - a developing child. However, if we are just a highly evolved animal, then we should do everything possible to understand our biological situation and improve it - even if this entails sacrificing a few babies in the process.
We are increasingly ignoring the injustice and tragedy occurring around us in order to maintain personal peace and affluence. Are we too complacent to see the implications of our basic beliefs about life? This complacency has replaced the striving for right and freedom upon which this country was founded. The right for an unborn child to live has already been removed. We should carefully ponder whose right to live society may next decide to curtail. Sadly, even Christians have come to believe that as long as they believe in God and pray occasionally, everything will be all right. On the contrary, unless we actively oppose evil, everything WILL NOT be all right.
1 Newsweek, Feb. 22, 1993, p.49.