Skip to comments.Frist a Major Shareholder in Reputed For-Profit Abortion Provider
Posted on 12/19/2002 10:26:29 PM PST by The Old Hoosier
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First, Frist should consider divesting from this investment if he is pro-life. Profiting from abortions because they are legal is far different from profiting from some piece of legislation that makes one economic policy decision trump another. For instance, one might be for tort reform, but might still practice law as a plaintiff's tort attorney. Why, becuase people don't die from that decision. Thus, pursuing a livelihood that is legal, but whose relative benefits to society are questioned as poilicy on the margins, is acceptable -- even if it is not laudable.
Abortion, however, kills people. And one cannot wrap one's self in the banner of a Conservative pro-lifer as the leader of the party, while accepting money from that practice IMHO. In addition, Frist may describe himself as Pro-life, but like virtually all Americans, he seems to either ignore the hypocracy of the exceptions he endorses, or he endorses them for political gain.
If one believes that life begins at conception, thus creating the a human at its earliest form, together with all the DNA necessary to be a human, than exceptions for rape and incest make no sense. We do not punish the children of criminals with the death penalty, because of the act of their parents. (e.g. One would not recommend that we kill the 5 year-old child of a man convicted of rape.) Why then, would we so easily caste aside his child in the mother? The answers, of course are hard. But they always lead to a pro-choice conclusion. That is, we do so because it is unfair to the mother, because of stigma and trauma for the mother, because the baby is unwanted by the mother, etc. And make no mistake, those circumstances are grave and understandable, but do not warrant killing a child if one believes in a true pro-life position.
Frankly, the only legitimate and difficult question is the exception for the life of the mother. In that circumstance, one life is truly pitted against another. (The occurences of these true risks are very small, but noteworthy on the discussion). In my opinion, the law cannot force a mother to give her life for another, though the law should not be that one could not choose to accept that risk if the mother so desired. Thus, the question is, does the life of the mother trump the life of the child within, if the end result is death for at least one. Regrettfully, I find as a matter of legality that a mother must be afforded that choice if a doctor determines, with a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the mother will dies if the pregnancy continues.
Personally, I do not think my wife and I could make that decision, though no one knows until that time. But as a legal policy consistent with principles of liberty, self-determination, and the common law, the best interest of the mother outweighs the child in that very rare circumstance.
Abortion, under any other circumstance, knows no legal, moral, or logical reasoning that can wither logical examination. Thus, those who purport to be pro-life and for exceptions on rape and incest, either have not rigorously examined the issue, or they have made a political calculation based upon society's mis-informed view in that area.
Frist is a doctor, and he should have an understanding of the issue greater than others. That he waivers on the exceptions, and that he profits from abortion practice should, if nothing else, give conservatives genuine pause as to his ability to lead this party. I for one, have that concern. And, though unity serves the party well in the short-term, principle will determine our success going forward. Accordingly, I am loathe to get excited by this Candidate until I see him step up to the plate and defend those innocently executed by abortion.
Uh, actually, the voting record is pretty darn good. Not perfect, but close to it.So, I guess I have to respond. I hope youll forgive the delay; I spent the earlier part of the evening cleaning up my childrens vomit, as two of them had the flu. I guess I am now prepared to respond.
Your argument is reduced to, "Yeah, but he didn't really mean it when he was voting a nearly-perfect pro-life record."
Your statement is interesting. To say he is close to perfect when he specifically voted to penalize abortion protestors in adding the Schumer provision to the bankruptcy bill, is IMHO an abject exercise in intellectual sophistry. The man didnt just vote to tighten bankruptcy laws. He didnt just vote to tighten bankruptcy laws despite a negative little provision about abortion protestors in there. He voted to ADD that provision. You may not consider this so terribly bad, and I dont know if you protest or not, but I do, and I consider this a slap across the face of pro lifers.
So, I do not agree that my argument is reduced to he didnt really mean it. I think he did mean it, and that is precisely why I reject him.
I assume you also believe he meant it, unless you would like to argue the very thing you claim I am reduced to, that he didnt really mean it when he voted to add that provision. Is that the case? Or did he actually mean it?
Yet, last night, I heard he opposes "therapeutic cloning".Joy. I am glad that he opposes cloning and organ harvesting, but it seems such a small thing. Most democrats seem to oppose cloning.
Therapeutic cloning (a.k.a. biomedical cloning): This is a procedure whose initial stages are identical to adult DNA cloning. However, the stem cells are removed from the pre-embryo with the intent of producing tissue or a whole organ for transplant back into the person who supplied the DNA. The pre-embryo dies in the process.Id be proud to claim him as mine, but unfortunately Ive already made clear he doesnt represent me.
He favors deriving stem cells from "unwanted embryos",Is an unwanted embryo like an unwanted baby?
Im curious, you state this like you see it as a positive. If that is accurate, if you do see this as a positive, can you explain why? Is killing an unwanted embryo for research better than killing an unwanted baby for research?
By the way, I note that Bill Clinton favors keeping abortion rare, and wants every baby a wanted baby. It sounds kind of similar to me. Favoring using unwanted embryos sounds a lot like favoring keeping abortion rare. Unfortunately these are often pretty little phrases used to justify horrendous actions. If you have accurately portrayed his position, it hardly seems to be much of a moral stand, and it may be no stand at all. In Clintons case it wasnt a stand, it was posturing. I hope we can expect better from Frist, but on the stem cell issue I dont have an abundance of that virtue.
but opposes creating new people to chop 'em up for their stem cells.So he opposes baby farming? See above responses.
Mr. Frist on the issue:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said Wednesday he opposed abortion but felt compelled to support research that could save lives. The senator - who has often transformed the president's views into Senate proposals - also proposed several limits to the new funding. Namely, he'd limit the number of sets of cultured stem cells to come from a single embryo.
. . . .
``The NIH report is clear on this important point: Embryonic and adult stem cells are different and both present immense research opportunities for potential therapies,'' Harkin said at the hearing.
Scientists believe they can learn to direct the development of embryonic stem cells to grow mature cells or tissues that could be used to treat disease. Some estimate that stem cells could benefit more than 100 million patients with such disorders as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes and spinal cord injuries.
Most of Frist's points are consistent with the NIH guidelines. He would also ban cloning of embryos for research. House lawmakers plan to take up that issue Thursday.
Some research scientists have rejected certain restrictions, especially the limits on stem cell lines.
There currently are approximately one dozen embryonic stem cell lines. But researchers say it will take experiments with scores, perhaps hundreds, of embryonic stem cell lines for scientists to be confident that basic biological discoveries are universal and not characteristics that are unique to the limited number of cell lines.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said Frist's statement ``carries great weight and has a great deal of respect'' because of his medical expertise.
However, Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., the only physician in the Senate and a close Bush ally, announced his support Wednesday for federal funding. Noting his opposition to abortion, Frist said he feels compelled to support research that could save lives.The only thing that Frist seems to oppose is the creation of the embryo purely for research purposes. He seems to have no problem with an embryo being aborted, and then being harvested. From his 10 conditions for federal funding for research using cells taken from human embryos:
``I conclude that embryonic and adult stem cell research should be federally funded within a carefully regulated, fully transparent framework,'' Frist said.
-- An increase in government funding for adult stem cell researchApparently, so long as the donor agrees to donate her organ to research after its killed, whoops, I mean removed, it is OK with Mr. Frist that the organ be researched on, well, at least if its a young embryo in the earliest stage.
-- A restriction on funding for embryonic stem cell research only in the earliest embryonic stage
-- A rigorous "informed consent" rule modeled on those now in place for organ donation, giving donors the right to decide whether to put the embryo up for adoption or to discard the embryo. If the donor chooses to discard the embryo, he or she must approve the embryo's use for research.
Im sorry, but this does not sound to me like something a pro-lifer would say, drawing parallels between how we treat aborting and researching on a human life to how we treat organ donation is precisely the line the abortionists use.
One last blurb, from this evenings postings:
Frist's role - or lack of a role - on human cloning has also caused controversy. There are two general areas of cloning: copycat reproduction of humans, which no member of Congress supports, and reproduction of human tissues, which many scientists support for research experimentation for therapeutic uses similar to stem cells. Bush wants to ban all cloning, but some conservative Republicans, including Hatch and Thurmond, want to allow therapeutic tissue cloning in hopes it can be used to cure degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's.You may continue to argue these things if you wish. I will no doubt have to head upstairs for round two of cleanup soon they always seem to do it twice and with Christmas approaching fast, time for debate here will be short. Not to mention which I generally prefer not to be in disagreement with you on those few issues we disagree on. Unless something substantially new is said, I think Ive said everything I care to.
When the issue first surfaced in the Senate last year, Frist said any form of cloning "crosses a very dangerous moral and ethical line that shouldn't be crossed, even for the potential of scientific gain."
But Frist never took a leadership role, angering some antiabortion activists who were counting on him. Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, says she is "extremely disappointed in Senator Frist, because he has the scientific credentials to have provided effective discussion on the ongoing debate on human cloning, and yet he has chosen to be politically correct. Frankly, he is a wimp."
Norman Shumway, Frist's mentor at Stanford University, says he believes his longtime friend made a carefully conceived political decision. Frist's opposition to therapeutic cloning is "ridiculous," Shumway says, and he can't believe that Frist, who left Boston to be on the cutting edge of medicine with heart transplantation, would oppose such a promising avenue of research.
But Shumway has a theory about Frist's position, a theory that has been much-discussed in political circles. "Here is what I think is going to happen," says Shumway. "I think Cheney will probably not run as Bush's vice president [in 2004], and I think it will be Bill Frist. So I think he has to be very careful. I think the Republicans do not want to alienate the far-right component. I think this is what he is being careful about. I'm sure, deep down, he knows full well that therapeutic cloning is essential. He may not be able to come out strongly on it, but sooner or later it will come out."
Should I not get the opportunity, Merry Christmas.
A great summation.
All of us who pay taxes or buy eggs or milk or pay for phone service, or invest in AT&T, are sending off some money that will eventually go to something bad. But there's no moral problem with that at all. It's quite different, though, when you FORMALLY cooperate in evil--knowingly cooperate in it in a significant way, and even profit from it. And in Frist's case, profit BIG from it.
It's not as if Frist doesn't know about this controversy, either--it was brought up in the 1994 primary.
On the other hand, someone who needs urgent medical care--the reason we go to hospitals--shouldn't hesitate just because of something evil that is done in another part of the hospital. Sure, if he has a choice, he would do better to choose a hospital that limits itself to legitimate medical procedures (Catholic hospitals are available in most places), but that choice isn't always there. It doesn't mean you have to die of a minor cut to make a moral point.
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