UPDATE, 3/13 12a: Whoops, he said it before. Bill Clinton on Larry King Live February 17:
But this stem cell research, if the stem cells are frozen embryonic stem cells, if they are never going to be used to be fertilized, to bring a life into being, then I think making them available for medical research is the pro-life position and I honestly don’t understand – I would understand it if we were going and raiding stem cell banks, where these stem cells were going to be used to actually fertilize eggs and have babies.
A couple commenters thought Clinton meant to say “implanted,” but never mind the fact he said “fertilized” 6x, the above interview makes clear he meant “fertilized,” which he defined as “to bring a life into being.”…
At any rate, substituting “implanted” would render Clinton’s statements more nonsensical than they already are. As commenter Raving Theist wrote:
If so, did he mean:
(1) We shouldn’t carry on the research inside a woman’s uterus after implanting the embryo?
(2) We shouldn’t create the embryo through IVF, implant it, and then take it out and use it for ESCR?
(3) We shouldn’t remove naturally conceived and implanted embryos for ESCR?
So when Clinton is properly educated on how babies are made, will he change his position on embryonic stem cell research? Sorry, can’t resist another one, from DougPowers.com:
You’d think that if anybody would know the rules of the fertilization process, it would be Bill Clinton. Sperm on egg = embryo. Sperm on dress = impeachment, no embryo.
Also spotted: Gupta was on with Anderson Cooper after his Clinton interview, replayed a section of the tape where Clinton erroneously defined embryos as unfertilized eggs, and still didn’t correct Clinton!
[HT for February 17 CNN quote: reader Valerie]
3/12, 7:02a: Can it be that both these men are so ignorant?
Last night on Larry King Live, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent and former candidate for President Barack Abortion’s surgeon general, interviewed former President Bill Clinton on embryonic stem cell research among other things.
After first presenting Clinton as some sort of expert on ESCR, Gupta stood by as Clinton repeatedly, and I mean repeatedly, misstated it is morally acceptable to experiment on embryos as long as they’re not fertilized!
Clinton’s ignorance is staggering, particularly given the fact he was president of the United States when this issue first came to the fore. He must have been off smoking cigars with interns when the White House primer on embryos was given. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
And where in the world was Gupta? Shame on him for letting that gross misrepresentation of embryos go uncorrected. Or, I wonder, does he even know embryos can only be embryos if fertilized?
This was not some slip. Bill Clinton thinks human embryos are unfertilized eggs. Does this mean when he realizes they are fertilized, he’ll oppose embryonic stem cell research?
Watch for yourself…
Here’s the transcript:
Gupta: Let’s talk about something you talked a lot about in the early part of your presidency, stem cells. There was an order today providing federal money for embryonic stem cell research. First of all, let me just ask you, as someone who studied this, is this going to always be as divisive an issue as it is now? Is this going to be the abortion of the next generation? Or are people going to come around?
Clinton: I think – the answer is I think that we’ll work it through. If – particularly if it’s done right. If it’s obvious that we’re not taking embryos that can – that under any conceivable scenario would be used for a process that would allow them to be fertilized and become little babies, and I think if it’s obvious that we’re not talking about some science fiction cloning of human beings, then I think the American people will support this….
Gupta: Any reservations?
Clinton: I don’t know that I have any reservations, but I was – he has apparently decided to leave to the relevant professional committees the definition of which frozen embryos are basically going to be discarded, because they’re not going to be fertilized. I believe the American people believe it’s a pro-life decision to use an embryo that’s frozen and never going to be fertilized for embryonic stem cell research….
But those committees need to be really careful to make sure if they don’t want a big storm to be stirred up here, that any of the embryos that are used clearly have been placed beyond the pale of being fertilized before their use. There are a large number of embryos that we know are never going to be fertilized, where the people who are in control of them have made that clear. The research ought to be confined to those….
But there are values involved that we all ought to feel free to discuss in all scientific research. And that is the one thing that I think these committees need to make it clear that they’re not going to fool with any embryos where there’s any possibility, even if it’s somewhat remote, that they could be fertilized and become human beings.
[HT: reader Milehimama]