Stem cells, put simply, are the building blocks of life. When you were conceived, your body was entirely made up of stem cells. Stem cells can replicate indefinitely, and can become any type of cells, like brain cells, heart cells, muscle cells, and skin cells. Did you ever wonder how your body grew from seemingly nothing? The answer is in the miracle of stem cells.
Stem cell research is based on the idea that if you inject stem cells into a part of the body that is unhealthy, or broken, they may be able to repair it. Amazingly, it works.
The media - and indeed, much of the public - have come to the conclusion that pro-life forces are against stem cell research, period. This is absolutely false! We are only against the types of research that take human life.
Absolutely! This is the most important information about stem cell research that you must master if you are going to talk about this issue. There are two types of stem cell research: Embryonic SCR, and Adult SCR. So let’s learn about the differences…
Embryonic Stem Cell Research: The major differences in the 2 types of stem cell research are where the stem cells are obtained. With embryonic stem cell research, the stem cells are taken from three sources:
- Aborted fetal tissue. Abortion clinics make a lot of money by selling body parts of the babies they abort, to medical research facilities and universities. One of the uses for these human body parts (is harvesting) the stem cells.
- Human embryos are cloned, and allowed to grow until they are between 7-15 days old. Then a doctor cuts the baby down the middle, and uses a syringe to extract the stem cells. This always kills the living embryo.
- Leftovers from in-vitro fertilization. The vast majority of couples using in- vitro fertilization to have a baby create excess embryos, to improve the chances of one of them implanting. The excess embryos are frozen, and about half of them can survive the thawing process. Typically, couples don’t end up using these, so they either remain frozen, are adopted by someone else, or are killed for embryonic stem cell research.
Adult Stem Cell Research: Adult stem cell research utilizes stem cells from your body. Most people don’t realize that there are still stem cells in your body right now! The good thing about adult stem cell transplants is that your body is much less likely to reject them, than if someone else’s stem cells are injected into your body. According to the National Institutes of Health, there are currently 12 places in your body where stem cells can be taken and used to cure diseases. You can also get stem cells from placental and umbilical cord cells. When a baby is born, the placenta and umbilical cord are usually thrown away as medical waste, but they are packed with stem cells that can be used for research. You can contact an organization in Atlanta called Babies For Life at www.babiesforlife.org and arrange to donate your babies’ placenta and umbilical cord, and they will freeze the stem cells for research.
Embryonic SCR: So far, there have been 0 cures found from ESCR. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. In fact, there have been so few results from embryonic stem cell research that money from private investors is diminishing. That is because embryonic stem cell research is the worst investment ever made. But embryonic stem cells can become anything we want, right? What’s the deal? One of the problems with embryonic stem cell research is that embryonic stem cells are too powerful for us to control yet. Sometimes they become the cells that they are engineered to become, and sometimes they don’t. This has even resulted in a man’s death in China.
Adult SCR: Adult stem cell research has had the opposite impact. It has cured patients with 72 different diseases so far! In fact, the British Medical Journal said last year that the need for fetal cells as a source of stem cells for medical research may soon be eclipsed by the more readily available and less controversial adult stem cells.”
The list is continually growing. Click here for the most recent list. It includes spinal cord injuries, blindness, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and leukemia.