Embryos are People
The polarizing national debate over the use of embryonic stem cells for the purpose of seeking solutions to medical ailments continues to rage. The most recent development entailed the passage by the Senate of a bill to permit government funding for research using human embryonic stem cells (Babington, 2006a). President Bush vetoed the bill on the grounds that such research entails the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others (Babington, 2006b). At the formal signing of the veto, the President was surrounded by babies and young children who began life as frozen embryos that were created for in vitro fertilization, but who remained in suspension after the fertility treatments were complete.
What further proof is needed? Nothing was done after conception to change these children from embryos into humans. They became human at conception. From that point onward, they were merely allowed to grow—transferred to the womb to continue their development. No difference exists between a pre-birth infant and a post-birth infant—both are simply at different stages of human growth and development. As the children produced from “adopted” frozen embryos encircled the President with their parents, proof that embryos are people was staring the nation and the world in the face. How blind can we be? Are we of those who “seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand” (Matthew 13:13)?
Apart from the fact that the scientific community’s insistence that embryonic stem cells will be the panacea to cure disease remains both unproven and highly suspect, and despite the fact that adult stem cells have, in fact, shown the most promise and have been used successfully (Harrub and Thompson, 2004; Harrub, 2006), the only concern in the discussion ought to be the moral, ethical, and spiritual implication. On this basis alone, the entire matter ought to be—and can be—settled.
If the God of the Bible exists, and if the Bible is His Word, then human life begins at conception. To deliberately terminate that life—for whatever purpose—is the taking of human life, identified in Scripture as murder. David insisted that his development as a human being, his personhood, was achieved by God, prior to his birth, while he was yet in his mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16). Elizabeth’s pre-born baby is represented as a living human being (Luke 1:39-44). In fact, the term “baby” used in verses 41 and 44 to refer to the pre-born John is the exact same term that is used in chapter two to refer to Jesus after His birth as He laid in the manger (Luke 2:12,16). So, in God’s sight, whether a person is in his or her pre-birth developmental state, or in a post-birth developmental state, that person is still a baby! John the Baptizer is referred to as “a son” from the very moment of conception (Luke 1:36). All three phases of human life are listed in reverse order in Hosea 9:11—birth, pregnancy, and conception (see Miller, 2003).
The national discussion regarding the use of embryonic stem cells is “cut and dried” for those who believe in and respect the God of the Bible: “[D]o not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked” (Exodus 23:7). God hates “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17). The fact that we even are debating this subject demonstrates the extent to which the nation has strayed from its commitment to and reliance on the God of the Universe—yet another unmistakable manifestation of America’s downward spiral into moral and spiritual depravity.
Babington, Charles (2006a), “Senate Passes Stem Cell Bill; Bush Vows Veto,” Washington Post, July 19, A01, [On-line], URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/18/ AR2006071800182.html.
Babington, Charles (2006b), “Stem Cell Bill Gets Bush’s First Veto,” Washington Post, July 20, A04, [On-line], URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/19/ AR2006071900524.html.
Harrub, Brad (2006), “False Marketing of Embryonic Stem Cells,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2976.
Harrub, Brad and Bert Thompson (2004), “Presidential Elections, Superman, Embryonic Stem Cells, Bad Science, and False Hope,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2621.
Miller, Dave (2003), “Abortion and the Bible,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1964.