Ok, I know this is starting to go on for a bit longer than many people are interested, but Chris Orr at The New Republic’s “The Plank” blog recently wrote a post about the Kinsley-Douthat jousting. Like me, Orr finds this issue more one of curiosity rather than expertise.
Orr initially just mentions what’s been going between the other two journalists, but he has his own good points to make over the fact that IVF treatment is considered wonderful by the pro-lifers, even though fertilized eggs are guaranteed to be destroyed (which is their argument against stem-cell research). He highlights the contradictory position held by the pro-life movement thus (emphasis mine):
“Insofar as there is any organized pro-life effort to regulate fertility clinics and reduce the number of eggs that will ultimately be destroyed, it seems marginal to the point of invisibility. This is particularly true given that, to a far greater degree than stem-cell research, IVF is not only a public policy question but an issue of individual morality. That is to say, the pro-life movement could presumably put a significant dent in the number of unnecessary eggs created without passing a single law or enacting any new regulations, simply by aggressively publicizing the issue. If pro-life priests and pastors were alerting their flocks to the hundreds of thousands of human deaths (in pro-life terms) caused by IVF and shaming congregants into avoiding the process, if activist groups were taking out regular ads in national newspapers and magazines, these actions would have presumably have a real impact. But as best I can tell, they occur infrequently if at all.”
I thought this was rather well put, which is why I’ve included it here. Again, this is an issue more of curiosity for me than expertise, as I believe the pro-life position has so many holes and contradictions which, to me, largely look petulant and deliberately intended to differ from a liberal, pro-choice/-stem cell research position. If Douthat responds to either Kinsley or Orr, I assume I’ll bring you that, too.