I remember a family conversation that took place when the stem cell thing was going around the first time, and I remember saying from the back seat of my father's Camry on the way home from church (oh, I don't forget a detail, you smug bastards) that if President Bush had his panties in such a wad about embryonic stem cell research, he really should be up in arms about in vitro fertilization, since it creates tons of embryos, most of which are just going to be discarded. If he really was so vehemently opposed to the destruction of embryonic life, I asked, why wasn't he speaking out against in vitro fertilization? The conversation went something like this:
Me: If President Bus really is so vehemently opposed to the destruction of embryonic life, why isn't he speaking out against in vitro fertilization?
Daddy: Well, because that really isn't the issue.
Me: But why isn't it the issue? If he really wants every single embryo to become a person, why hasn't he said anything about IVF?
Daddy: Because it's just not the issue right now. No one has brought it up.
Me: But why hasn't he brought it up? If every embryo is sacred, shouldn't he be so passionate about protecting IVF embryos that he brings it up himself?
Daddy: No, because they aren't talking about IVF, they're talking about embryonic stem cell research.
I'm sure my mother was glad it was a short car ride.
Well, punks, he's finally said something.* And he said that... every embryo is sacred. Tom DeLay, who's always got the President's back, suggested that the embryos left over from IVF could be adopted by other couples looking to conceive. And I think that's a swell idea. Really, how long can it take to adopt out 400,000 to 500,000 frozen embryos? It's not like there are any ready-made kids waiting around for homes and families. And any unadopted little embryo-pops can just hang out in some huge government Frigidaire until... until... until the end of the world, I guess, and whatever happens to them then is totally on the Almighty. Better to reside, frozen for all eternity, between a stack of Lean Cuisines and a pint of Rocky Road than to thaw in the name of science and potentially save lives down the road (which, being non-frozen non-embryo lives, are far less valuable).
*Correction: Per Scott "Rainman" McClellan, President Bush has not, in fact, said anything at all. The editorial board of Hey Jenny Slater apologizes for any confusion or violent rioting that may have resulted from this inaccuracy.
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