Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Frist Compromise??

Eric Cohen and William Kristol conclude in their Weekly Standard piece on Frist's stem cell relapse :
"But here is one thing that can be done between now and when the Senate takes up this issue, most likely in September: Those pro-embryo research politicians who rushed to praise Frist's wisdom and courage should now be forced to take a position on the rest of Frist's recommendations: Will they agree to ban the creation of any human embryo solely for research? Will they agree to make federal funding of research involving destroyed IVF-embryos contingent on such a ban? Or is their support for funding the 'spares' really just one step toward funding everything--creation for destruction, research cloning, fetal farming--and a way to weaken those, like President Bush, who oppose the steady march toward the brave new world?

And Frist could still make his support for the Castle-DeGette bill depend on winning the support of his pro-embryo research colleagues for a ban on the creation of human embryos solely for research and destruction. This, at least, would make supporting limited research on the 'spares' contingent on stopping the full-scale instrumentalization of nascent human life. Such a 'Frist Compromise' would not, on balance, make us a better country. It would not settle this divisive moral issue. For our part, we would still oppose any federal funding of embryo-destructive research. But at least such a 'Frist Compromise' would represent an effort to hold the nation to some moral standard, instead of simply capitulating to those who seek a national blessing for embryo destruction."