PPL issues statement on stem cell research PDF Print E-mail

Fall 2001

Citing support from an outdated and radically pro-abortion policy statement, the General Assembly of 2001 adopted a statement in support of killing embryos for research purposes. In early August, the United Methodists joined the Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention--the three largest U.S. denominations--in opposing research that destroys human embryos.

PPL responds to President's decision
President George Bush decided on Thursday, August 9 to permit the use of federal funds for research using stem cells from noncontroversial sources such as umbilical cord blood and adult bone marrow. He said he would not allow federal funding for stem cell research that involved the killing of embryos, or for work on cell lines derived from embryos killed after the date of his announcement. In that way, federal funding was permitted for research using both post-birth stem cells and stems cells from embryos.

Presbyterians Pro-Life issued a statement following President Bush's decision. It says in part:

At the heart of this issue is the question of what constitutes a human life and under what conditions a human life is not to be protected. For Christians it is a question of the application of biblical teaching. Each one of us began our lives as a fertilized ovum. It is the way God designed us. God tells us in Scripture that he knew us before we were in the womb, and that he ordained our days before one of them began (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:16).

Princeton University Professor of Jurisprudence Robert George elaborated on the meaning of these passages of Scripture recently. He said human embryos are:

whole, living members of the human species...capable of directing from within their own integral organic functioning and development into and through the fetal, infant, child and adolescent stages of life and ultimately into adulthood. [The being that is] now you or me is the same being that was once an adolescent and before that a toddler and before that an infant and before that a fetus and before that an embryo.

Stem cells plentifully available from non-controversial sources
Stem cell research is a new frontier. We do not know where it might go. We do know that research has found very promising preliminary outcomes in trials with post-birth stem cells derived from sources that do not kill human beings, such as umbilical cord blood, bone marrow, and human fat. We in Presbyterians Pro-Life believe that potentially life-saving research should be heartily approved by the Christian Church. But we stand with the Church's historical proclamation of the biblical message that each human life is created in the image of God and is to be protected and nurtured--from the moment of its creation. To seek a cure of even the most horrible diseases at the price of killing an innocent human being to obtain that cure is a path God forbids us to take.

Click here for the complete statement from PPL.

 

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