The Observer—Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford
Publication date: August 5, 2005
By Patricia Pitkus Bainbridge
Director, Respect Life Office
Swooping in silently, the bomb was released. There was no warning. It landed directly on the unsuspecting citizenry.
It wasn’t a terrorist attack or a B-2 Stealth bomber in a war zone. It was Governor Rod Blagojevich’s July surprise crashing down on the citizens of Illinois. In one fell swoop, Illinois became the fourth state in the union to authorize the use of taxpayer money to fund morally objectionable embryonic stem cell research and therapeutic cloning. Bypassing reasoned debate, Blagojevich issued an executive order that created the Illinois Regenerative Medicine Institute (IRMI) to allocate funds for research including embryonic stem cells and human therapeutic cloning.
During the last session of the General Assembly, a proposal to create the IRMI failed to garner the needed support for passage. Ignoring the lack of support for his draconian plans, Blagojevich circumvented the will of the people and slipped in a single line item of $10 million dollars to the Department of Public Health’s budget “for grants and related expenses of hospitals and universities for scientific research.”
While some lawmakers are crying foul, they share responsibility—it is their job to know what they are voting for. Ten million dollars for “scientific research” should have set off red flags. They should have known. Maybe some did. Regardless, Blagojevich decided for the people. Like it or not—they will pay for deadly experimentation on very tiny human beings.
Sadly, embryonic stem cell research is not illegal. The only question is who will pay for it. If it held as much promise as Blagojevich and others want us to think it does, private money would be pouring in. Instead, private investors are begging out because, as Steven Milloy of JunkScience.com says, “they perceive it to be a pipe dream unlikely to produce any progress and, hence, investment returns, in any reasonable time frame. The bottom line is that if embryonic stem cell research had real promise, private investment would be overflowing into biotech companies. But it's not.”
Commenting on his brash decision to have taxpayers fund this controversial research, Blagojevich said, “. . . I suspect there will be a firestorm of criticism because I'm using executive power . . “
No, Governor. The criticism is not because you used executive power. It is because you used executive power unethically and for immoral purposes.
Attempting to justify his action, Blagojevich proclaimed, "Anytime you do what is morally right . . . however you get there is immaterial." Morally right? Experimenting on and killing tiny human beings for their stem cells and creating human clones is morally right? The end justifies the means? Please, Governor, come down from your relativistic high horse.
Pontificating further, Blagojevich remarks, "My sense of morality argues strongly to not simply sit back and do nothing when children are suffering from juvenile diabetes . . . To simply be afraid to take a position or to act, I think would be immoral." Of course we should not just sit back and do nothing when anyone is suffering. However, we must focus on ethical methods to alleviate suffering.
Governor Blagojevich believes that health care providers who do not provide abortion information should not receive government funding; he believes partial-birth abortion is a moral good; he believes transporting minors across state lines for abortion is good; he does not believe it should be a federal crime to harm a fetus in the commission of another crime; he believes human therapeutic cloning and embryonic stem cell research are good; he believes forcing Illinois citizens to pay for morally objectionable research is good; he believes pharmacists who object to dispensing so-called emergency contraception should be forced into doing so; he believes the end justifies the means.
Blagojevich is confident his worldview is moral. Disagree with him and you are immoral. Isaiah 5:20 comes to mind: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.”