Abortion, gay marriage, and illegal immigration are all hot button topics currently being faced by Americans. As ardently as each side defends their stance on a controversial issue, an opposing side fights with equal diligence for the beliefs they feel should be valued by our nation. Perhaps nowhere is this battle more heated than in the fight over stem cell research. While supporters of this new field of science tout it’s potential to cure everything from blindness to paralysis, those against stem cell science liken the procedures used by scientists to murder. It is my intention to bring to light the positive benefits of stem cell research as well as counter the claims used by many Pro-life groups who believe the scientists driving this innovative field of study are nothing more than murders.
Most scientists agree that embryonic stem cells are thought to hold potential cures to spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and some heart diseases (“Research Ethics”). In fact, over 100 million Americans currently suffer from disease that could be cured by research involving the use of stem cells. That figure doesn’t even begin to take into account injuries like spinal cord trauma, paralysis, and physical disfigurements that could be cured by this research. Additionally, many top Ophthalmologists believe the key to blindness rests within the confines of embryonic cells (Pynes, 39). The key to such enormous advancements in medical research lie in the pluripotent cells that are extracted from the undeveloped embryos known as blastulas. Pluripotent cells are in the very early stages of development are not yet commited to becoming any given organ – like a lung or a heart – and as such can be manipulated and guided by scientists into becoming whatever type of cell is needed (Pynes, 40). In essence, pluripotent cells are a universal building block within the human body, capable of becoming an eye, an arm, or even a nervous system.
While few can debate the potential “miracle cure” aspect that seems to be wrapped within stem cell research, the method for obtaining such cells has been a topic for debate. The process of extracting pluripotent cells destroys their host embryo, and as yet, no pluripotent cells have been found in older adult tissues. Opponents of research on embryonic cells claim that embryos – from the moment that fertilization occurs – are sentient human beings and should therefore be afforded the same protections against abuse as anyone else (“The Cases For”). But what if a method were readily available were viable stem cells could be extracted from an embryo in a manner that would not deny life – however such life were defined – to the unborn fetus? What if such a potential solution could ease the minds of not only those who oppose stem cell research but also help to quell the dispute of another “Do Not Kill” issue – abortion?
Across America, doctors in the field of abortion...