SPECIAL EDITION FROM JUDIE BROWN JANUARY 27, 1995
Topic: The Human Embryo
Now that the 104th Congress is in full swing, it is our obligation to insist
that those elected officials who consider themselves pro-life be expected
to do all that they can to protect the youngest human beings from research
and experimentation. Our hope is that the 104th Congress will not only deny
all funding to such research and experimentation, but that it will ban it as
well, whether funded privately or by taxpayers.
At the state level, we hope that each state legislature that has not already
done so will cut off all state funds to any institution involved in this
grim research and experimentation, and that each state legislature will
present a statement of facts and a petition to the 104th Congress asking it
to protect all innocent human beings, born and preborn, from such grotesque
This means that the reader of communique must have access to as much valid
and scientifically accurate information as possible. In these pages we will
provide you with excerpts from such material. In each case you may contact
American Life League to receive the complete document should you require
more information on a particular aspect of the material presented here.
The first thing we should understand is the actual history of human embryo
research. Who is behind it and how long has it been a goal of those who
claim to specialize in the science of human reproduction?
One could say that the January 22, 1973, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton U.S.
Supreme Court decisions truly opened the floodgates to many bizarre
attitudes toward preborn human beings. The U.S. Supreme Court's decisions
were based solely on a mother's right to privacy. A woman's decision to end
the life of her baby became fully protected by the Court for the entire
duration of her pregnancy. All she needed was an abortionist willing to
terminate her child. At this point preborn human beings became non-persons
in the legal sense and, subsequently, available for research purposes. The
dehumanization process had begun.
Shortly after that, in April 1973, the Advisory Council of the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) "repeated what it had already proposed in March
of 1972: that fetal research should go forward with proper ethical and
scientific guidelines. It stated that researchers should not be involved in
the abortion procedures themselves, and that the rights of the mother and of
the fetus should be 'fully considered.' The travesty of this seemingly
protective language was challenged by [Paul] Ramsey in The Ethics of Fetal
Research: 'It was not explained how the human fetus can be said still to be
a bearer of "rights" or what rights remain, if the experiments are done when
abortion is in view or has already been set on course.'"1
The research industry itself, best represented by the American Fertility
Society (AFS), was poised to acquire large grants of money for research and
experimentation that it would claim were necessary to understand the
development of the human being, not to mention treatment of those who were
infertile or otherwise in need of technological assistance in order to have
a child. It is interesting to note, for example, that between 1974 and 1988
the membership of the AFS grew from 3,600 to over 12,000.2 Why? Because
infertility specialization became a lucrative and necessary expansion of the
desire of many scientists had to understand and participate in the creation
of man, not to mention genetic study and manipulation.
After experimenting on the older preborn child directly following the
abortion, or robbing the child of his or her tissue during the abortion, it
was only a matter of time before these research scientists and reproductive
technologists were ready to create human beings in test tubes. They promised
infertile couples the chance to bear children, and simultaneously
continuing their quest for knowledge by dissecting and destroying the
youngest and most vulnerable of all human beings-the human embryo.
Recognizing that the public might have serious objections, their first
course of action was to redefine these tiny children in such a way that the
public would be convinced that, though the embryos might be human, their
moral status was certainly not equal to those already born. Enter the
A Pre-embryo? A Pre-implantation Embryo?
How does one legitimize experiments and research on human beings without
engendering outrage in the community at large? One way is to describe that
human being using a term that negates his or her humanity. This is how the
term pre-embryo, and more recently, pre-implantation embryo-both phrases
having propaganda value but absolutely no scientific validity-came into use.
Author Suzanne Rini, in chronicling the 1993 cloning experiment at George
Washington University in Washington, D.C., gave the history of these terms
and cited the work of two scientists, both members of the American Fertility
Society (AFS) and both committed to reproductive technological advancement
at all costs. Both of these scientists are critically important to
understanding the current state of affairs.
Ann McLaren is a British biologist who has made numerous presentations to
the American Fertility Society (AFS).
Clifford Grobstein, a member of AFS, is a Professor of Biological Science
and Public Policy, Emeritus, at the University of California, San Diego.
Both individuals are, as Rini pointed out from a historical perspective,
eugenicists and propagandists. She wrote:
"By 'pre-embryo,' McLaren and Grobstein mean that in the first 12 days of
life there is a genetic human present but no distinct individual, an
obviously false duality, but well prepared for by years of lying about the
unborn's moral status in order to legitimate and spread abortion. The
pre-embryo is also defined to be that aggregation of cells that simply
produces the placenta and other structures extraneous to the embryo. No
individual can be present, claims this definition, because, until the 12-day
limit, twinning is still possible. Needless to note, this entire falsity
was merely created to lay hands on embryos."3
Clearly the use of such terms robs the tiny human being of perceived value
and denies his or her association with those human beings who are fortunate
enough to survive long enough to implant in their mothers' womb. The
re-definition of these human beings would, as we now know, make it easier
for the National Institutes of Health's Human Embryo Research Panel to do
its biased work and carry forth the proposition that human beings must be
genetically manipulated, dissected and destroyed for the greater good of
society. How else could man come to understand the entire function of
procreation and its outcome (the child)? Further, if genetic testing is to
be done earlier and earlier in pregnancy so that women need not carry
defective children, then surely such research must continue on those who are
truly not as "human" as the rest of us.
The Gang of 19 Is Affirmed
On September 27, 1994, a group of 19 scientists and philosophers, with not
one member in disagreement, recommended to National Institutes of Health
Director Dr. Harold Varmus that human embryo research be approved and that
it move forward as soon as possible. Following that recommendation, on
December 2, the Ethics Advisory Board of the National Institutes of Health
concurred and made the very same recommendations to Dr. Varmus, though
President Clinton did direct that no public funds be used to create human
embryos for the express purpose of research and experimentation. President
Clinton did not oppose the creation of such human embryos in the private
The vocabulary used by the 19-member Human Embryo Research Panel is cause
for concern. Father Richard John Neuhaus wrote: "The panel claims not to be
imposing a philosophy or moral judgment. The claim is false. The philosophy
is ordinarily called utilitarianism. Admittedly, the panel's is a strikingly
primitive and vulgar form of utilitarianism, but from that philosophy it
derives the moral judgment that the end justifies the means. . . .
"The panel also arrogates to itself the political responsibility 'to arrive
at a reasonable accommodation to diverse interests.' . . .
"Absent vigorous intervention by Congress and public opinion, we are
crossing a threshold from which, in all likelihood, there will be no
One might wonder how 19 members of a selectively appointed panel could have
gotten this far with such horrifying recommendations. One need only
understand that even during the Reagan and Bush years, when many people were
under the impression that there was a ban on federal involvement in such
experiments, the experiments were indeed proceeding almost without a hitch!
So it is not really surprising that, by 1994, 19 people with many documented
conflicts of interest 5 were placed in a position of power with almost
nothing to stand in their way. The members of the Human Embryo Research
Panel, and those in support of their position, can now be checked only by
vigorous action from not only the United States Congress, but state
legislatures, community groups and any other Americans who believe that
human beings should never become research subjects in experiments that
result in their deaths.
Can Human Embryo Research Be Ethical?
Dianne Irving, M.A., Ph.D., testified before the Human Embryo Research Panel
in March 1994. During that testimony she outlined the ethical requirements
of scientific research. In her remarks she challenged what she called fake
science, and asked what had happened to correct science:
"Why have NIH and the scientific community allowed this fake science to go
uncorrected in the literature for over 15 years-with no censure, and
continued to use scientists and bioethicists who perpetrate this fake
science as paid consultants and grantees? Why is there no human embryologist
on this panel? Your earlier discussions on how to define the human
embryo-that on which you are attempting to regulate research-was, from an
objective scientific point of view, mortifying and embarrassing. Does
NIH-one of the greatest scientific research institutions in the world-mean
to have political scientists, sociologists, feminists and bioethicists
define scientifically what a human embryo is?"6
And please note this from Dr. Irving:
"A second ethical requirement of scientific research is that the design of
the protocol itself be ethical. For our purposes here, if the very design of
the protocol used in human embryo research is unethical-i.e., specifically
designed to destroy a living developing human being during the process of
experimental research-then the whole experiment is unethical."7
It's the New Wave-That's All!
It seems clear that one of the problems we face with the onslaught of this
research and experimentation on preborn human beings is the abuse of
language and the continuing promotion and sale of false definitions designed
solely for the purpose of desensitizing the American public. Embryologist
C. Ward Kischer recently wrote about this "new wave" and he attributed it,
or at least a great deal of it, to Clifford Grobstein, mentioned earlier in
Kischer pointed out that Grobstein is a "leading spokesman for 'choice', but
prefers to identify it as 'public policy', and a leading sponsor of human
embryo 'research'. Grobstein is the avant-garde of those reinventing human
development, and those writing a new social policy for the status of the new
Dr. Kischer pointed out that an informed public can apply pressure where it
will do the most good. But this also means that each of us must understand
what is at stake, for it is far more than the single question of human
embryo research. Rather, it is the larger question of whether or not all
human beings will ultimately become subjects of the new wave scientists, who
may well define many of us as less than human, perhaps with such phrases as
pre-dead beings, or pre-cadaveric subjects.
As Kischer wrote, in the conclusion to his article, "Embryology does not
stop at birth. The fundamental processes of embryology are continued even
into old age and death. This is so because all of life is a continuum.
Therefore the human, the person, the individual are all identical in the
conceptual sense. Hence, the value of life is established at the initial
contact of sperm and ovum and cannot be 'detached' because of a self-serving
or arbitrary reinvention of human embryology."9
The Numbed Conscience Denies Murder
The late professor and theologian Paul Ramsey put it best when he wrote,
more than 24 years ago:
"I may pause here to raise the question whether a scientist has not an
entirely 'frivolous conscience' who, faced with the awesome technical
possibility that soon human life may be created in the laboratory and then
be either terminated or preserved in existence as an experiment, or, who
gets up at scientific meetings and gathers to himself newspaper headlines by
urging his colleagues to prepare for that scientific accomplishment by
giving attention to the 'ethical' questions it raises-if he is not at the
same time, and in advance, prepared to stop the whole procedure should the
'ethical finding' concerning this fact-situation turn out to be, for any
serious conscience, murder. It would perhaps be better not to raise the
ethical issues, than not to raise them in earnest."10
Indeed, the serious conscience would have to admit that the intentional
destruction of any innocent human being, whether the size of a period at the
end of a sentence, or the age of 80 and rocking peacefully in a nursing
home, or at any stage in between, is murder.
1. Ask the members of your church, community organizations, and school
groups to sign a petition protesting the use of public funds (feder
al or state) used to subsidize destructive human embryo research.
Contact our office for petition copies, please.
2. Provide your pastor with background information and ask him to give a
sermon during the month of February, explaining why Christians must
oppose this horrific research and experimentation.
3. Write to your elected officials, letting them know that you expect
*strip all appropriation and authorization bills of federal funding
for non-therapeutic, destructive research and experimentation on
*investigate the NIH's misuse of taxpayer funds (The Human Embryo
Research Panel, for example, was composed of individuals who had a
conflict of interest. Not one human embryologist was on this panel.
The Panel was stacked!);
*hold Congressional hearings with expert testimony on human embryonic
development, using correct science;
*and prohibit all destructive, non-therapeutic human embryo research
by ensuring full legal protection for all human beings from fertiliza
4. Each time human embryo research is mentioned in your local newspaper
or on your local television or radio stations, make sure that accur
ate information is reported. If not, let them know by writing let
ters to the editor or making a phone call.
5. Above all, pray that God will bless our nation with the will to
overcome this evil that has gripped our society on so many levels.
Following is a list of materials not cited above, but readily available:
"The Inhuman Use of Human Beings: A Statement on Embryo Research by the
Ramsey Colloquium," First Things, #49, 1/95, pp. 17-21.
Edward C. Freiling, Ph.D., "The Attempted Justification of Embryo Research,"
The Wanderer, 12/8/94, p. 12.
Cal Thomas, "Embryo Research Attacks Humanity," Lansing (MI) State Journal,
10/9/94, p. 8A.
Doris Gordon, "On Human Embryo Research," Libertarians for Life, 4/11/94
testimony to the Human Embryo Research Panel.
"Focus on the Family Position Statement on Embryo/Fetal Experimentation,"
Social Research Brief, 11/28/94.
George Weigel, "A Brave New World Is Hatched," Los Angeles Times, 11/27/94.
"Was Jesus an Embryo? The Ethics of Human Embryo Research and the Brave
New World" (Nashville, TN: Christian Life Commission of the Southern Bap
tist Convention, 11/94).
Communique is prepared by Judie Brown and disseminated by
American Life League because "It is not against human enemies
that we have to struggle, but against the Sovereignties and the
powers who originate the darkness in this world" (Ephesians
6:12). c 1995, Stafford, VA 22554 (USA); phone 703-659-4171;
fax 703-659-2586. Vol. 5, #2, $13.95 per annum.