Here is the brave new world in which we are living. The Associated Press reports that Doctors in Oregon took brain cells from an aborted baby and implanted them in a 6-year old boy.
Last month in Portland, Ore., doctors for the first time transplanted stem cells from aborted fetuses into his head in a desperate bid to reverse, or at least slow, a rare genetic disorder called Batten disease. The so-far incurable condition normally results in blindness and paralysis before death.
Doctors donâ€™t know if the neural stem cells taken from fetuses â€” donated to a nonprofit medical foundation by women aborting early-stage pregnancies â€” will save Danielâ€™s life. But the boy has sufficiently recovered from his 8-hour surgery to be expected to return to his Orange County, Calif., home Friday â€” the first day of Hanukkah.
These stories are tragic. I say “stories” in the plural because (contrary to what the AP implies) two lives are at stake: a six-year old boy fighting for his life against a rare disease, and a baby whose life was snuffed out before it even had the chance to be born.
One of the most disturbing aspects of this story is the way the AP handles the “ethical” angle. The AP does not recognize the humanity of the unborn baby. All it does is briefly note an ethical question raised by the quirky pro-life people. When it comes to talking about the moral status of the unborn, the story says this, “the new cells in Danielâ€™s brain do carry their own ethical baggage.” It’s “ethical baggage” indeed, and it’s called being created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27; 9:6).
I grieve that there are many people who will read this story and come to all the wrong conclusions. Many will assume that the tragedy of abortion is somehow mitigated by the ability to use the unborn for spare parts for sick people. Neither the tragedy of abortion nor the tragedy of sickness are lessened by such an immoral act. On the contrary, the horror is amplified to a whole new level.
Anyone who cannot see how close we are to a “baby industry” that grows the unborn for the purposes of medical research is burying their heads in the sand. The dissembling rhetoric that masks the offense of killing an unborn human is already in place (note the reference to “fetus” in the AP story, not a “baby”). And now, by showing that taking a life might be able to save another, the moral arguments against using weak humans for spare parts are being eroded as well.