Bush’s Stem Cell Decision Was the Right Call

Millennial writer Christopher White has a new article at Crux. He writes:

Fifteen years ago this month, President George W. Bush announced he was issuing a moratorium on the future spending of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research. He would later refer to this as one of the most consequential “Decision Points” (the title of his autobiography) of his presidency.

While his presidential legacy is much debated, science has already vindicated his decision to end the destruction of embryos and to pursue alternative methods of medical advancement….

While critics of Bush’s policy were eager to label him as “anti-science,” tone deaf, and unsympathetic to folks like Christopher Reeve (who they claimed would be able to walk again with the aid of embryonic stem cells), other prominent figures, including leading scientists and ethicists, urged both caution in the destruction of life in its earliest stages and also pushed for other means to be pursued that they believed could be just as effective.

That’s why when Bush made his decision, he also announced that he was doubling federal funding for research to explore alternative methods-and in November 2007, James A. Thomson (along with Shinya Yamanaka), the same scientist to first isolate human embryonic stem cells which sparked this whole debate, announced that he discovered an “embryo-free way to produce genetically matched stem cells.”…

In his willingness to give pause and to probe the intricacies of this debate, President Bush reminded us that something deeper is at stake beyond stem cells: our very souls.  Our national leaders would do well to ask these hard questions more often and to make us do the same.

You can read the full article here.


Pro-life Democrats Deliver Whole Life Message in Philadelphia

Via CNS:

At a time when the official party platform advocates for removing current legislative restrictions on obtaining abortions, pro-life Democrats came to Philadelphia with a counter message: You can’t win big without us.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has called for repealing the Hyde Amendment, which forbids federal funding for most abortions and continues to be included in many federal appropriations bills for abortions. Her stance has been endorsed in the party platform, which also calls for eliminating the Helms Amendment, which prohibits U.S. foreign aid from being used to fund abortion-related activities.

But Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America, notes that since 2008, when President Barack Obama launched his first term, the party has lost 11 governorships, 30 state chambers, 69 house seats, 13 seats in the U.S. Senate and 912 seats in state legislatures….

At a reception honoring Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Catholic, who is the only Democratic governor in the South, for his support of the pro-life cause, Day underlined that idea from the podium: “We choose the mother. We choose the child. We choose both.”…

Day and honoree Edwards, who said that his Catholic Christian faith informs his views, both argued that pro-life beliefs aren’t limited to abortion.

“There is a difference between being anti-abortion and pro-life,” said Edwards in accepting the Governor Casey Whole Life Leadership Award.

via Kate Scanlon:

Edwards said pro-life Democrats must make their voices heard because “it’s hard to be a big tent party if you’ve got a very small platform.”

He argued that pro-life Democrats “can be successful” but “it’s going to be increasingly difficult to navigate these waters if the party doesn’t moderate on this issue.”

Edwards said he’s proud of the 100 percent pro-life voting record he earned as a legislator, but he added that he believes a truly pro-life position not only includes opposition to abortion but also fighting for access to health care, housing and nutrition.

“You can’t simply say you’re pro-life,” he said. “It’s got to be demonstrated.”

A Pro-life, Pro-animal Welfare Movement

Millennial writer Christoper White has a new article at Crux. He writes:

If certain individuals or organizations lobby for the protection of animals, might they want to extend their sympathies to all vulnerable creatures, such as unborn children?

The reverse, however, also deserves consideration: Wouldn’t it behoove pro-lifers to rethink their own attitude toward animal welfare and our eating choices? And even if one is not fully convinced that we’re ethically obligated to give up eating animals entirely, then might such deference toward animal welfare serve as an invitation for pro-choice animal activists to confront their own inconsistencies?

Perhaps in all of this, there is the real possibility that in showing mercy towards animals — be it abstinence from meat or simply taking smaller steps, such as rejecting factory farming — that this entire movement might serve as a gateway to a deeper embrace of the concept of mercy that Francis has staked his papacy on and manifest itself in all sorts of ways.

You can read the full article here.


Men and the “Right to Choose”

If liberals and libertarians sincerely believe that autonomy and choice should trump the protection of human life in the case of unwanted pregnancies, then the question has often arisen: why should men not be free to exercise their choice to terminate a pregnancy or opt out of an unwanted pregnancy in some other way? A regional branch of the youth wing of Sweden’s Liberal Party is now making the argument that they should have this “right”:

The idea, proposed by a regional branch of the youth wing of the centrist Liberal Party, would allow a potential father to legally abdicate his responsibility toward the child up to the 18th week of a woman’s pregnancy. The man would lose any rights to visit the child but also would not pay any child support he may otherwise be required to contribute.

If this seems horrifying, it should. But it is merely an extension of the disordered values that place autonomy above life, individualism above the common good, and choice above responsibility. Proponents of abortion-on-demand should not be shocked that other liberals are taking their arguments to their logical conclusions.


The Pro-life Movement’s Make-or-Break Moment

SCOTUSbuilding_1st_Street_SEA critical opening now exists on the Supreme Court. The typical formula in such scenarios would be for the Democratic president to nominate someone who is a moderate on economic issues and reliably pro-choice on abortion in order to garner enough support from both Democrats and Republicans, something that is likely to happen any day now. This, along with “a broad pro-business consensus within the upper ranks of the legal profession,” is why the Court is so strongly pro-business by historical standards.

But Republicans are threatening to block any nominee President Obama puts forward. Some may wish to continue this blockade if Hillary Clinton is elected president but Republicans retain the Senate. A vacancy of many years or multiple vacancies would raise questions about the durability of our constitutional system (and the norms that allow it to function) in an era of bitter partisanship, hyperpolarization, and political dysfunction, where divided government is not at all uncommon. The critical role of the Court as a countermajoritarian protector of minority rights, insulated to a certain degree from fleeting democratic passions and excesses, may be lost entirely—something we should perhaps be acutely inclined to preserve when a demagogue like Donald Trump keeps pilling up primary wins that seemed highly unlikely just a year ago.

If having another pro-choice justice on the Court and a radical change in the norms of American democracy are both seen as unacceptable, what can the pro-life movement do? Pledge to support President Obama if he agrees to nominate a pro-life progressive.

The pro-life movement can show that it is not a pawn used by the Republican Party to protect corporate interests. It can show that it truly values the lives of unborn children above all else. By pledging to unite behind a nominee who would allow for the advance of social and economic justice (while recognizing the legal rights of unborn children), the movement would give President Obama and Democratic elites a stark choice: put forward a nominee who would uphold action to defend the poor, weak, and vulnerable, while undermining plutocracy, or reveal that a commitment to abortion-on-demand is the preeminent value of Democratic elites—more important than universal healthcare, gun control, voting rights, campaign finance reform, union organizing, and every other issue.

If the pro-life movement puts their collective pressure to bear on Republicans and they refuse to support a pro-life nominee, the movement will realize that they are being used to serve other interests. If the GOP supports the pro-life movement’s plan, but President Obama refuses to nominate a pro-life progressive, the president would be the one responsible for the dangerous gridlock and complete politicization of the Court.

This is a make-or-break moment for the pro-life movement. It’s time for the movement to unite and deliver a truly pro-life justice.