I was reading a post on Baby Center about SCR (stem cell research), specifically embryonic stem cells. The general consensus was that it is a great idea and many stated that embryos might as well be used instead of thrown away and "what else will they do with them anyway". While reading this I am shouting "donate them to couples!!!!". One even posted this:
What do the people who regard embryos as a life want to do with the surplus embryos? Is there a line forming to bring them to term, even though they are discarded from their original parentage?
I replied that YES, THERE IS A LINE!!!!! I was shocked at how many people were completely clueless about embryo donation/adoption. I am sure that I would have been one of them had I been fertile, but sitting here with my little donated embryo baby sleeping next to me it is no longer just a concept, but a reality. A dream come true.
As I was reading this thread I thought about the argument that I have heard repeatedly that it is "too hard" to donate embryos to a couple so they would just rather donate them to research. I just cannot comprehend that line of thinking. I realize that donating embryos is not an easy decision, really I do. But if you can recognize that the embryo is the beginning of life when it comes to ED/A how can you donate that same embryo? Is it no longer a baby waiting to be? How is allowing an embryo to be destroyed in the name of research a good choice, an ethical and moral choice? How is it easier than giving that embryos a chance at life?
I think that we are in this place because of our legal system and it's definition of what a baby is. If you are 10 weeks pregnant and wish not to become a mother you can have an abortion because it is only a "mass of cells". But if the same woman wants to be a mother and someone assaults her and she miscarries that same mass of cells is now a baby and the attacker a murderer. How does this thought process make sense?? It doesn't! Yet we apply this same skewed logic to embryos. During IVF the embryos are little lives to us (pro-lifers) and if we choose to donate they are little lives as well. But if we are unable to make that decision to donate and choose discarding them or donating for research they are now just cells? How does that work?
With all that said I do not favor giving embryos rights. I know that to some that may seem contradictory. I do value human life and wish that more people did as well. But if we give rights to embryo, treating them as though they are full humans, then we are entering dangerous territory. If a doctor makes a mistake and an embryo is destroyed he would then been a murderer. It would also mean that embryo donation would be a thing of the past and we would all have to go the full adoption route. While I love that there are agencies out there offering embryo adoption I do not want to see all donations become adoptions. There are many wonderful couples out there that are unable to do an adoption (financial, past mistakes, etc) that should have the chance to become parents and embryo donation can give them that opportunity. Yet genetic parents should have the option to choose a family if that is what they want. A middle ground is what we have now with both agencies and clinics offering different types of adoptions and donations. But in the midst of it we sometimes forget that these little lives are part of the process and they need to be cared for and destroying them should not be an option.
What are your thoughts on destroying embryos or donating them for research? Should embryos have rights? Should all donations become adoptions?