Friday, December 8, 2006

Mary Cheney's baby

There is a lot of commentary out there about the implications that Mary Cheney's pregnancy for homosexual rights. Will this be a watershed event leading to government recognizing homosexual marriage? How will this impact the question of allowing homosexuals to adopt children?

I, for one, think this has been little more than an over-covered celebrity gossip story. Mary Cheney's pregnancy is not a pressing national issue and does not merit being placed above the Iranian and North Korean nuclear crises, or any other news story with potentially major implications. It is shameful that this child will be exploited for political ends; he/she is a person, not a political tool. However, since this pregnancy allows for people to take potshots at the President and Vice President on the issue of homosexual rights and(more importantly) drives up ratings and sells newspapers, it will be covered extensively by the media.

I think there is another issue here that deserves attention as well. I have serious moral qualms with in vitro fertilization due to the destruction of human embryos that comes with the process. Embryos are frozen for years and in many cases destroyed when a couple finishes the process. Many people are concerned with the destruction of human embryos in stem-cell research, but why so little concern with in vitro fertilization? Are human lives destroyed by these clinics somehow less valuable than the human lives destroyed by "scientific research"?

When sperm and egg join, a new human being is created with a DNA sequence different and separate from either parent. Scientifically speaking, there is no question that life begins at fertilization, even if a medically-defined pregnancy (implantation in the womb) has not yet taken place. With shelter and nutrition, that new embryonic life will grow and develop into a fetus, newborn, toddler, child, teenager and adult. Those lives are not ours to toss into the flaming mouth of Moloch.

There are many, many children in this country and around the world who need stable, loving homes. Why do so many people feel that they must pass on their own genetic material instead of helping these oppressed children? Could it be that a reason God has allowed many of these couples to be infertile is so they can emulate Pharaoh's daughter and care for one (or more) of these children? Is there a more glaring example of the arrogance of American culture?

I am thankful that the President has stood up for the right to life that a human being has at the earliest stages of development on the issue of stem-cell research, but this presents an opportunity for the president to take a moral stand on protecting human embryos in the process of artificial fertilization. While this could be a contentious issue inside the White House, protecting human life would be an important legacy for George W. Bush as he enters his final two years as President.