24th May 2010
Pro Life Campaign welcomes reduction in abortion rate
The Irish Stem Cell Foundation today called for legislation to allow human embryonic stem cell research to take place in Ireland. The Supreme Court ruled last year in R v. R (frozen embryos case) that human embryos outside the mother’s womb do not enjoy Constitutional protection. This decision, however, in no way impedes the Government from introducing legislation that protects the human embryo from destructive research or abuses in assisted human reproduction.
Responding to the Irish Stem Cell Foundation's call for legislation to allow human embryonic research, Dr. Ruth Cullen of the Pro-Life Campaign said:
Since its launch the Irish Stem Cell Foundation has been a staunch promoter of embryo research so it’s not at all surprising that it now seeks legislation to give it legal backing.
What is disconcerting is the manipulative way it distorts any alleged benefits of this type of research without mentioning the fact that it also involves the destruction of human life at its earliest stages of development.
The Irish Stem Cell Foundation states correctly that false claims about cures for debilitating conditions are being made by some stem cell practitioners. However, these scams occur in both embryonic and adult stem cell research and, unfortunately, are not uncommon in medical research generally. To use this, as the Irish Stem Cell Foundation does, as a cover to promote embryo research is both bizarre and intellectually dishonest.
The reality is all breakthroughs and treatments we read about in the media involve adult stem cell research, which is perfectly ethical. Embryo stem cell research on the other hand is highly controversial, unethical and has led to no valid treatments for patients.
Instead of calling for socially divisive legislation sanctioning embryo destructive research, the Irish Stem Cell Foundation should join with others in seeking to make Ireland a centre of excellence for adult stem cell research, which is extremely promising scientifically and does not lead to the destruction of human life at its fragile beginnings.