Stem Cells, In-Vitro, and Octomom

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

President Obama is poised to issue an executive order this week reversing Bush administration limits on federal financing for embryonic stem-cell research. A lot of pro-life conservatives, as well as evangelical leaders like James Dobson, adamantly oppose such a move.

I understand why people are against stem cell research, but here’s what I don’t understand: Why don’t more politicians/evangelicals speak out against in-vitro fertilization?  Hundreds of thousands of “leftover” embryos have been created through in-vitro fertilization, and will only be destroyed if not used for research.  To be intellectually/morally consistent, shouldn’t those against stem cell research be against in-vitro fertilization? I’ve heard many a sermon against stem cell research and abortion, but  not a single one against in-vitro.

In some ways, I think that the crazy “Octomom” story that’s been getting so much press recently sheds some light on this issue. In several interviews, Nadya Suleman, who received in-vitro fertilization and gave birth to octuplets, said that the reason she chose to have eight embryos implanted (despite already having six children) was because she believed that each of those embryos represented a life.  Those who agree with her should either support her decision, or take a stand against the whole in-vitro fertilization process.

So what do you think about embryonic stem cell research? What do you think about in-vitro fertilization? Why do you think politicians/religious leaders shy away from taking a stand against in-vitro and yet adamantly oppose stem cell research?  Should the religious community rally around Octomom?

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