It’s not an easy time to be a religious conservative on Capitol Hill. Congress’ new Democratic majority has put stem-cell research back on the agenda while ignoring bids to ban gay marriage. …
Case in point: stem cells. … Taxpayer funds shouldn’t be used to destroy human embryos, they say, and other kinds of stem cell research hold promise too.
But there’s another argument now gaining currency among the bill’s opponents: …Congress would create a market that would encourage women to donate eggs for the new research projects, in exchange for quick cash, some of the groups say.
Watch Charmaine in the
video on Stem Cell Research
That kind of market would exploit women who were hard up for money, especially poor women and college students — “the kind of women who are vulnerable to ads that say, ‘Oh, hey, come make $5,000,’ ” according to Charmaine Yoest, vice president for communications at the Family Research Council.
It’s not a completely new line of reasoning, as Yoest points out. It came up in Missouri last year, where a stem cell research initiative became a major factor in the Senate race won by Democrat Claire McCaskill, who supports the research. And during last year’s stem cell debate in the Senate, then-Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. — who supported embryonic stem cell research despite his close ties to religious conservatives — also granted that expanded research could create incentives for women to take ovulation drugs so they could donate eggs…
But the egg harvesting argument is being used more frequently now that the Democrats control Congress, since it involves “using the leftists’ concern for women and turning it on its head,” says Janice Crouse, a senior fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute of Concerned Women for America. “You’re going to have women in third-world nations, and even college students, who will earn spending money by selling their eggs.”
…Still, religious conservatives believe they’ve already prevailed on another hot-button issue — abortion — as Democrats shift their emphasis from protecting the procedure to reducing the need for it in the first place. The same can happen on stem cells, they believe — even in a Democratic Congress. “We did lose” the Missouri Senate race, says Yoest, but “we didn’t lose by a whole lot. We’re looking at it and saying, ‘The game’s not over.’ “
Thank you (foot)notes:
Full Disclosure: Dr. Janice Crouse mentioned in the article is Charmaine’s mother.