Coalition for Lifesaving Cures puts out propaganda, reader says

To the editor:

We get a lot of junk mail, don’t we?

Coupons for the new pizza restaurant, sales at the mall, home-equity loan offers, tire specials. However, I go through it all, because I don’t want to miss any important information. Most of it gets pitched, but some of it gets the honor of being affixed to the fridge with a magnet.

One piece of literature arrived here a couple of weeks ago. I read it and I didn’t like it, and here’s why.

The moneyed interests at the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures are putting out propaganda that would make a Soviet propagandist proud. They do a good job of spinning words to push their objectives.

In one case, they use the time-honored tradition of changing the terms to something less precise — and therefore less emotional.

Specifically in this flier they said, “Early, or embryonic, stem cells (ES cells) are the new frontier in stem cell research.”

True statement, but why do they insist on referring to embryos as ES cells? They use the word “embryonic” only one other time in the entire six-page flier. They never used the word “embryo.”

Why? Because the research they support requires destroying hu-man embryos by extracting the stem cells.

I believe they are also being careless with the truth by not telling the whole truth. They state one basic source of embryonic stem cells is “leftover fertility clinic embryos that would otherwise be discarded.” Really. The only way to disposition embryos is discard them?

When a couple decides on in-vitro fertilization, there are multiple embryos generated. “Frozen embryos” refer to those embryos that are not transferred to a woman’s womb but are subsequently cryopreserved. A frozen embryo transfer can be used to produce a viable pregnancy by first thawing the frozen embryo, and transferring it into an appropriately prepared uterus.

In simpler terms, these embryos are not simply leftover and doomed to be discarded. They can be implanted and allow to grow into a wonderful, beautiful baby. They can even be donated for adoption by a different couple. The frozen embryos do not need to be destroyed for scientific research.

As I’ve said before, nobody is anti-cure. But the pro-embryo destruction group wants to put the business of medical advances and cures above the lives of embryonic human beings. They are clouding the issue with fuzzy terms. They don’t want us to understand that passing this constitutional amendment will allow corporations the right to clone and kill embryos in Missouri.

Each of us reading this letter was an embryo at one time. We were that small group of cells, but we were lucky enough to be inside our mother’s womb where we could grow into a fetus and then be born to grow into adulthood.

Kent Bettale

Oakville