McCain plays politics with embryos and us

mccain.jpgSurprise. John McCain parsed words and made contradictory statements to reiterate support for human embryo experimentation last week, according to the Catholic News Agency, January 26:

Sen. McCain called his decision to back the research "a very agonizing and tough decision."

He continued, saying, "All I can say to you is that I went back and forth, back and forth on it and I came in on one of the toughest decisions I've ever had, in favor of that research. And one reason being, very frankly, is those embryos will be either discarded or kept in permanent frozen status."...

Referring to the recent break through in stem cell research which allows scientists to use skin cells to create stem cells, McCain said that, "I believe that skin stem cell research has every potential very soon of making that discussion academic.... Sam Brownback and others are very encouraged at this latest advance...."

McCain cited leftover embryos as his primary reason for supporting escr, of which there are, in actuality, few. Where was the reporter asking why this decision was "angonizing" and "tough"? McCain needed to say out loud he understands this is killing unwanted humans.

Then McCain said he hoped new discoveries would render escr unnecessary. So the problem of leftover embryos would return. What next would McCain propose to alleviate this problem, if he cares so much? Again, where are reporters asking these questions?

Finally, note McCain did not say he himself was encouraged by the news that researchers may have unlocked a way to make adult stem cells pluripotent like embryo stem cells. He said Brownback, a Catholic, was encouraged.

So don't expect McCain to abandon support in that event.

I so hate the fact I have to dissect most politicians' words.

The Republican I least want to see as the presidential nominee next to Rudy Giuliani is John McCain. Over and over McCain has betrayed pro-lifers, and badly, from McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform, which shuts us out of the political process close to elections, to the Gang of 14, when he neutered not only us but his own party.

[HT: Dr. Frank and LifeNews.com]


Comments:

Huge "Ethical" Embryonic-Like Stem Cell Discovery Not So Ethical After All - Fetal Cells Used

LifeSiteNews ^ | 1/8/08 | LifeSiteNews

TENNESSEE, January 8, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Children of God for Life reports that a recent stem cell breakthrough that turns adult skin cells to "embryonic" is not a pro-life solution as currently done. On November 21st and 22nd, Dr. Shinya Yamanaka and Dr James Thomson published back-to-back studies that were hailed as moral alternatives to embryonic stem cell research. Both studies involved introducing genes into adult stem cells through a lentivirus, which reprogrammed them to become "embryonic" or induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells, without destroying human embryos. But pro-lifers may have celebrated too soon, without studying the methods used in the papers.

Both researchers used several versions of the 293 aborted fetal cell lines to modify the DNA of the host adult skin cells, in order to accomplish the reprogramming.

"Unless you read the papers published by Dr Yamanaka in Cell and Dr Thomson in Science, you would have no idea where the DNA came from that was used to transform the adult cells", stated Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director of Children of God for Life, a pro-life watchdog organization focused on stem cell research and aborted fetal cell lines in medical products. "And even then you would have to know what you were looking for to understand it", she added.

For example, while Dr Yamanaka reports using PLAT-E, PLAT-A and 293FT cells in his paper, the proper name for these cell lines is HEK (human embryonic kidney) 293. The cells were obtained from an electively aborted baby by Dr. Alex Van der Eb, Crucell NV, the same company producing aborted fetal cell line PER C6, derived from the retinal tissue of an 18-week gestation baby.

In the second study, Dr James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, also used aborted fetal cell line 293FT to produce DNA used to modify adult cells. Furthermore, Dr Thomson obtained the DNA sequences he used from human ES cells. And before using foreskin fibroblasts, Thomson tested the reprogramming on IMR-90 aborted fetal cell line, taken from the lung tissue of a 16-week gestation female baby.

"Pro-lifers may be deceived by the excitement about these publications", Vinnedge cautioned. "Using aborted fetal and embryonic stem cells from deliberately destroyed human beings is certainly not any kind of moral victory."

Vinnedge noted that the research is fraught with other moral and clinical problems, such as fatal tumors, which are a well-documented attribute of embryonic stem cells, and which also occurred with the adult reprogrammed IPS cells. And while Yamanaka and Thomson allege the new cells generated would be "patient specific" with no immune rejection problems, this claim is premature because there is foreign DNA present from the lentivirus used to modify the cells.

However, it is not necessary to use aborted fetal cells to produce the lentivirus at all, noted Dr Theresa Deisher, R&D Director of Ave Maria Biotechnology Company, a research firm dedicated to pro-life alternatives for unethical human therapeutics.

"There are other ethical ways to produce the DNA needed for transformation, efficiently and morally," said Dr Deisher. "If these means were employed to produce the needed DNA, there would be no moral issues with the use of reprogrammed adult cells for research."

Posted by: FetusFascist at January 28, 2008 5:16 PM


McCain and Romney are both for ESCR research using so-called leftover embryos.

Morally this just makes no sense and the "they are going to die anyway" argument can be used for those terminally ill or for those scheduled for the death penalty. This arguments fails to mention that these frozen embryos are persons and should be respected as such. (One more reason why the Catholic Church is right about IVF and what happens when you separate unitive act from the procreative act. Human persons become byproducts stored in freezers)

But even on a practical level this make no sense since these frozen embryos couldn't be used in the first place without permission of the parents so as it is there is a limited supply.

Plus say for example they actually found a cure using these human embryos, then it would create an instant demand that could not be met with these embryos that are the results of IVF.

There are immunological issues associated with putting cells derived from one person into the body of another and this is exactly why researches have been focusing on cloning. You need more than just embryonic stem-cells you need ones that could be used without these issues and thus ones closely matched to the person being treated.

So pretty much on every level using these embryos makes zero sense.

Then you also have the problem of

Posted by: Jeff Miller at January 28, 2008 5:22 PM


Good for him. I've always seen McCain as more of a Centrist then a Republican. I think he'd also be far more willing to work with Dems than most other Republicans, which is what we need.

If it comes down to him vs. Hillary, Im voting McCain

Posted by: Dan at January 28, 2008 5:31 PM


I love McCain, but between the "Bomb Iran" song and his suggestion that a draft might be necessary, I was turned off.
Then this week he decided to drop THIS little bombshell:

McCain Warns: "There Will Be Other Wars"
January 27, 2008 02:22 PM

Sen. John McCain told a crowd of supporters on Sunday, "It's a tough war we're in. It's not going to be over right away. There's going to be other wars." Offering more of his increasingly bleak "straight talk," he repeated the claim: "I'm sorry to tell you, there's going to be other wars. We will never surrender but there will be other wars."

McCain did not elaborate who the United States would be fighting. But he did warn the crowd to be ready for the ramifications of current and future battles.

Posted by: FetusFascist at January 28, 2008 5:40 PM


From LifeNews, no less:

John McCain Attacks Mitt Romney on Abortion in New Internet Campaign Ad

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 28, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- John McCain's campaign is running a new Internet advertisement criticizing Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on the issue of abortion. The ad features clips from comments Romney made in years past saying he supported legal abortion and contrasts them with current clips of him saying he's pro-life.

"A Tale of Two Mitt's," is a play on a popular television theater program and it features the former Massachusetts governor as a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1994 and as governor in 2002.

The McCain ad quotes him saying, " I believe abortion should be safe and legal in this country," and "I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose" and that he "would not be wavering" on supporting abortion.

It then features a clip of Romney during a GOP debate saying, "You can go back to Youtube and look at what I said in 1994. I never said I was pro-choice," and one from another debate adding, "My position was effectively pro-choice and I've said that time and time again."

The McCain ad closes with a tag saying, "Mitt Romney's flip-flop's are truly masterpieces.

LifeNews.com asked the Romney campaign for a response and spokesman Gary Marx forwarded a statement saying McCain is engaging in last-minute distortions less than 24 hours before Florida voters head to the polls.

"Senator McCain has, once again, launched a last-minute, negative ambush against Governor Romney with web ads, radio ads, flyers-you name it," the Romney campaign said.

"If you ever needed proof that the Washington insider with the wrong record on Republican policies is threatened by the new ideas and strong record of Governor Romney, now you have it," the campaign added.

McCain's ad is interesting because he is not well known for taking a strong stance in opposition to abortion, despite a consistent pro-life voting record on it.


Posted by: FetusFascist at January 28, 2008 7:40 PM


Oh FABULOUS.
I guess no one gave 'Dumbya the memo.
From the 2008 State of the Union Address:

"On matters of science and life, we must trust in the innovative spirit of medical researchers and empower them to discover new treatments while respecting moral boundaries. In November, we witnessed a landmark achievement when scientists discovered a way to reprogram adult skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells. This breakthrough has the potential to move us beyond the divisive debates of the past by extending the frontiers of medicine without the destruction of human life. So we are expanding funding for this type of ethical medical research."

Posted by: FetusFascist at January 28, 2008 8:30 PM


Jill, you've done McCain too much justice with his very statesman-like photo. Go Huckabee!

Posted by: Sarah Flashing at January 28, 2008 9:04 PM


I live in Arizona and I know John McCain.

He appointed my son to the Air Force and Naval Academies.

He is a war hero and very good man.

I think he plays politices with his positions, however, and this troubles me.

I would rather see Mike Huckabee get the nomination, however, if it were McCain vs. Hillabeans or Abomination, I would choose The Mac.

Posted by: HisMan at January 28, 2008 9:54 PM


I like McCain. He's the only Republican I would willingly vote for.

Huckabee is a moron. Plus, if he gets the nomination for the Republicans, that essentially guarantees a win for the Democrats.

Posted by: Rae at January 28, 2008 11:00 PM


I don't know how McCain can call Romney a flip-flopper? I've lost track on his spins and back tracks on the Straight Talk Express.

I want someone who is well educated and competent in the White House....

The Mac needs to go back. If he's the nominee, I'm leaving the Republican Party. At least the Democrats have sense to nominate some intelligent people.

Posted by: tk at January 28, 2008 11:03 PM


Sarah, I usually try to play fair with photos. Don't typically stoop to the bad shots, although Hillary does entice me to do so now and then.

Nice to see you here, btw!

Posted by: Jill Stanek at January 29, 2008 6:45 AM


Rae, Huckabee absolutely terrifies me.

"McCain cited leftover embryos as his primary reason for supporting escr, of which there are in actuality few."
**************************************************
Check this out:
"It is unclear how many embryos are stored at the nation's 450 fertility clinics. A 2003 study by RAND Corp., a think tank, estimated there were 400,000 ... Just 2.8% were designated for research ... The clinic's 9,000 embryos fill 20 tanks, and storage is "a major problem," she says."
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-01-29-embryo-debate_x.htm

They are just sitting there. In my opinion, these are equivalent to the embryos that never implant in a woman who is not even taking contraception, because these embryos cannot gestate at -300 F. If life is the ultimate sanctity, why is is awful to try to find a way to save some?

Posted by: SamanthaT at January 29, 2008 7:07 AM


McCain is the only Republican I *might* consider ever voting for. The only Republican I would definitely vote for is nowhere near running for president.

Posted by: JKeller at January 29, 2008 7:19 AM


SamanthaT, did you read the articles posted by FF about how the "adult somatic stem cells" were reprogrammed using HEK cells (although not in the reprogramming themselves....they were used as "factories"?)

Rather fascinating....actually....but still ethically questionable.

Posted by: Lyssie at January 29, 2008 8:08 AM


Anyone hear about McCain's joke about stalone and norris? Plans on having Stalone take on Chuck Norris. Haha, least he's got a sense of human.

Aww, what, no trackbacks? I referenced this post in one of my blog entries, lol.

Posted by: Dan at January 29, 2008 3:41 PM