I’ll ask again -what the heck is a fertilized egg?
You have sperm. You have egg. When the two meet you don’t call it a happy sperm or a fertilized egg. It’s an embryo, a fetus, a baby. That’s it for your available descriptors. Oh wait, there’s one more – a human being.
But GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich is once again announcing his support of embryonic stem cell research based on when implantation occurs.
TAPPER: Abortion is a big issue here in Iowa among conservative Republican voters and Rick Santorum has said you are inconsistent. The big argument here is that you have supported in the past embryonic stem cell research and you made a comment about how these fertilized eggs, these embryos are not yet “pre-human” because they have not been implanted. This has upset conservatives in this state who worry you don’t see these fertilized eggs as human life. When do you think human life begins?
GINGRICH: Well, I think the question of being implanted is a very big question. My friends who have ideological positions that sound good don’t then follow through the logic of: ‘So how many additional potential lives are they talking about? What are they going to do as a practical matter to make this real?’ I think that if you take a position when a woman has fertilized egg and that’s been successfully implanted that now you’re dealing with life. because otherwise you’re going to open up an extraordinary range of very difficult questions.
By “an extraordinary range of very difficult questions” isn’t Newt playing the same gambit as Barack “above my pay grade” Obama?
Actually, what Newt means is that it’s very difficult to get elected when your opponents are running ads with Michael J. Fox decrying you for not letting him get better. That’s what he means.
Newt’s hitching his support of embryonic stem cell support to the ol’ implantation gambit. So, I’m wondering if you cloned a human being in a lab would you have to wait until the clone was “implanted” in Kindergarten before you considered it a human being worthy of protection.
I never understood the fascination with implantation as some kind of demarcation point between nothingness and life, other than as an argument for contraception not being an abortifacient. I mean, the miracle of life occurs and that miracle is implanted in a woman’s womb and grows. To focus on the implantation rather than the miracle of conception as the true measure of life seems a little beside the point to me.
I don’t see how I could possibly look past this. Newt should remember a candidate isn’t really a nominee until he implants.
December 2, 2011 at 9:29 pm
Could it be that President Clinton is more on board with the correct philosophy of life matters than Speaker Gingrich?
December 2, 2011 at 9:59 pm
Anyone who does not know that human existence through the will of God begins when two become one is not capable of leading.
December 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm
You do have a really serious problem if we insist on extending full human rights to all embryos. Are we prepared to organize a campaign to ban in-vitro fertilization? How about banning the Pill? If we do not attempt to draw lines somewhere that a vast swath of voters will tolerate (and sorry to say we are somewhere less than 10% of the population on these life issues), we are unlikely to make any progress at all. We have a really messed up society. Newt didn't say he thought life began at implantation–it looks to me like he is saying that protection should begin at implantation. This is a beginning. I am honestly at a loss as to how to clean up the mess that we have made of the procreation of human life. It is politically impossible to ban abortifacient birth control. It seems to me that we must begin to turn things around where we can establish majority support, and that ain't coming for in vitro fertilization bans or banning abortifacient birth control like the Pill. Implantation is actually a logical place to go now. I am more concerned about Newt's past support for abortion in the case of rape and incest. I would like him clarify that more. His current support of embryonic stem cell research seems to be limited to placental cells. I am reading all of this most favorably as I can. I hope he clarifies more.
December 2, 2011 at 10:23 pm
Newt is wrong, but I think we run a big risk in demoralizing pro-life forces and the republican base.
There certainly are candidates with an unambiguous, clear understanding of life. BUT, what if Newt wins after being "done with" by many folks. What happens to the turnout if people simply conclude that there are no truly pro-life candidates between him and Obama.
The bottom line is there is an ENORMOUS GAP between Newt's flawed pro-life position and Obama's radical pro-abortion one. The race will probably be close and our attacks on Newt now may pay decisive dividends for Obama later.
December 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm
What about those children who will eventually be born from artificial wombs without ever having been implanted in any way? Yes it's coming…
December 3, 2011 at 12:07 am
The real issue here is that Newt is a fairly recent convert to the Catholic Church who seems to have serious failings in either a) his formation/catechesis or b)his faithfulness to truth. As this blog deals with issues from a Catholic perspective it seems entirely appropriate for CMR to call Newt to the carpet on this issue and comment on how troubling his comments are. A person is a person no matter how small. Implantation doesn't make us a person, being an embryo makes us a person. My reaction is that Newt needs to consider just how firmly his feet are planted in the Catholic Church. I keep hearing about how he's found forgiveness following his past mistakes (affairs, etc.) and is now so happy in his Catholic marriage. Great for him, but what about actually following the teachings of the Church he has been saved in? St. Thomas More, pray for Newt! and for all of us!
December 3, 2011 at 12:40 am
"otherwise you’re going to open up an extraordinary range of very difficult questions."
Yes, thinking of how defend EVERY human life is difficult. We would have to ban invitro-fertilization, as it creates hundreds of so-called "spares"— innocent humans with their own DNA separate from and sperm/egg donors— who are either frozen or experimented on. Any contraceptive that caused the death of an embryo before implanting in the uterus would also be banned.
These difficult measures would probably anger many people, but so what? Why should we cower away from doing what is right— especially defending innocent humans— jut because it will anger people. A lot of disagreement and anger occurred in the 1800s because some people wanted to end slavery, but doe that mean slavery should still be legal? Absolutely not.
Scientifically any egg which has been fertilized and is now an embryo/blastocyst is a human, alive and with his/her own DNA. We should defend all living people, whether they were conceived through sex or in a test tube, and whether they have been implanted or not. Do do otherwise is to pick and choose who lives or dies, to say some people's lives are not worth saving.
December 3, 2011 at 3:06 am
What do you expect from Newt Gingrich? It's NEWT GINGRICH, for Petes sake! He has revealed his true colors so many times I can't believe anyone is seriously considering him as President. But then again, this is the country that elected Obama, the same party that is considering Herman("Libya….Libya…uh….uh…"(crickets) Cain.
December 3, 2011 at 4:58 am
Since when does the location of the baby determine its nature? Implantation!? How rediculous.
Thats it… he lost my vote….
December 3, 2011 at 5:27 am
I think its worthy to mention that slavery was abolished through the blood of hundreds of thousands and devastation throughout the United States. To be completely honest I see so much in common with the question of slavery back then and abortion now.
The prospect frightens me a bit.
December 3, 2011 at 8:08 am
@George @ Convert Journal – I couldn't disagree more. Republicans who are elected but who aren't committed to the philosophy of protection of innocent human life do more damage to the pro-life movement than any Democrat could ever do. The Republican Party is supposed to be the Party of life. It is really the major hope of ever getting abortion turned around through political means. If it becomes an acceptable position in the Party that life does not begin at conception, this is just one step closer to dividing the GOP and the pro-life movement.
December 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm
Could someone tell me why a person can't abandon the whole process once it's started? Provided it wasn't TOO old? And once the deed is done, the Church will just forgive you anyway, right? And let you start over?
Wait… we were talking about Newt's marriages, weren't we? No?
December 3, 2011 at 7:37 pm
Sarah Palin said: “It is RICK SANTORUM”:
I love this woman. She is fantastic.
December 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm
Sorry, I can't find it within me to be charitable about this used car salesman. I don't think Newt's catechesis was lacking. I think all along Newt's intention was to be only as Catholic as he needed to be.
December 4, 2011 at 12:22 am
It seems to me that somehow we've managed to talk them back to implantation and to back away from the even less tenable concept of viability. I'm hoping that shows progress.
Yes, there would be certain logical outcomes…if there is one thing we as a society are adept at, though, it's maintaining staggering logical inconsistencies.
December 4, 2011 at 5:17 am
Check out how Gingrich filled out the Right to Life Questionnaire:
He is for abortion in cases of incest and rape.
That is NOT a Catholic position.
December 4, 2011 at 5:21 am
I can not fault Newt for now knowing the Catholic position on these issues. I mean his main teacher would be Card. Wuerl and God knows the man could not tell Catholic doctrine if it slapped him upside the head.
He prob told Newt that it was fine to believe all that stuff and still be Catholic.
December 4, 2011 at 6:30 am
What's wrong with making sure women know that if they take the Pill, they may very well abort one or more of their children? Do you think there is going to be an outcry of, "Hey! I WANT to abort one or more of my children!" Most women would not want an abortion of any kind, early or otherwise. I think we should run with the truth of the Pill. Besides, the Pill is a class 1 carcinogen that quadruples the chances of getting double-negative breast cancer, the most aggressive form of the disease. Why should we pretend these things aren't true? Because we care about women? Really???? And why shouldn't we focus on the reality of IVF? For all of the precious children born from IVF, thousands and thousands are being conceived and then thrown away or killed in experiments. Are we all ok with this? Why can't we discuss this reality? And furthermore…. many, many couples who are pushed toward IVF would be MORE LIKELY to conceive through NaPro technology. Why on earth do we want to run from these issues? We are on the right side!!!!
I am not going to vote for someone who is going to pretend to care about the unborn, barely, just because that fraud is not Barack Obama. If the Republican party can't come up with an honest, decent, pro-life candidate, then it is THEIR FAULT if Barack Obama wins again – not mine!
December 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm
Hear! Hear! Sharon!
December 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm
I'm building a stool in my workshop. Is it just "shaped wood" until I sit on it?