Saturday, March 18, 2006
Argh! I hadn't heard about that spin-doctoring attempt yet. Grrrr.....
The Exploratorium link that has you try to guess which blob of cells is human, by the way: excellent!
yeah, the article was published in december, but i stumbled across it accidentally friday. and then when i went back to it today, i only got the first 50 words! argh! so here it is in full:Post a Comment
By SARAH BLUSTAIN
Published: December 11, 2005
This year, opponents of abortion stepped up their use of a carefully chosen phrase - "embryo adoption" - that describes a couples' decision to have a baby using the embryos of another couple.
The less loaded term for embryo adoption is "embryo donation." It typically signifies that a couple who have undergone in vitro fertilization, and have had as many children as they wish to, are releasing their leftover embryos for use by other would-be parents. Of some 400,000 frozen embryos in the country, according to the RAND Corporation, about 9,000 are designated for other families. (Another 11,000 are designated for research, while the balance remain unused in freezers.)
Medically, embryo adoption and embryo donation are identical. But to promoters of embryo adoption, which term you use makes all the difference: "We would like for embryos to be recognized as human life and therefore to be adopted as opposed to treated as property," explains Kathryn Deiters, director of development at the Nightlight Christian Adoptions agency, in California, which has been offering embryo adoptions since the late 1990's. Nightlight also favors the term "snowflakes." As the agency's executive director, Ron Stoddart, told The Washington Times: "Like snowflakes, these embryos are unique, they're fragile and, of course, they're frozen.. . .It's a perfect analogy."
In May, President Bush delighted the Nightlight agency when he met with some of its young success stories, who wore "Former Embryo" stickers on their chests. He used the occasion to stress his opposition to legislation supporting wider stem-cell research with embryos.
The number of snowflake babies so far is small. But liberating the in vitro world's ice chests is only part of the movement's goals; raising consciousness is the rest. Advocates would like to see courts consider embryo-transfer disputes under adoption law rather than contract law, as now occurs. Making snowflakes subject to adoption law, it is hoped, would be an important symbolic step toward the movement's ultimate goal: granting embryos the rights of human beings.