Does Bill Clinton not know basic reproductive biology?

Does Bill Clinton not know basic reproductive biology?

CNN’s medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta—who, let’s remember, was on a shortlist of potential Obama nominees to be surgeon-general—interviews Bill Clinton on embryonic stem cell research and Obama’s policy change to allow federal taxpayer funding.

First, note the slanted, softball question that Gupta proposes: “Is this always going to be as divisive of an issue as it is now? Is this going to be the abortion of the next generation? Or are people going to come around?

Aside from the unintended pun—Yes, this is the abortion of the next generation, i.e. we are aborting the next generation—see how Gupta tries to present embryonic stem cell research as having nothing to do with abortion. You can’t have embryonic stem cells without first aborting an unborn child! But also see how he says pro-lifers need to “come around.” One “comes around” when one wakes up, when one sees reality.

When Clinton responds, he appears to be lacking in knowledge of basic biology. Some have taken that as evidence of ignorance, but I think it’s demonically clever. Clinton says: “If it’s obvious that we’re not taking embryos that can ... that under any conceivable scenario would be used for a process that would allow them to be fertilized and become a little babies ...” Is Bill Clinton really ignorant of the fact that embryos are already fertilized? That they are in fact already little babies in the process of being born? I don’t think so. I think this is yet another cynical attempt at spreading ignorance and trying to convince the general public that embryos are genetically unique and differentiated human beings in the process of development to the point where they can survive outside their mothers’ wombs.

This is not unlike the partial-birth abortion lie perpetuated by pro-choicers who claimed that no more than 1,500 of these horrific procedures were performed in the country each year. In fact, key figures in the abortion industry later admitted that to be a blatant lie that under-counted the procedure by an order of magnitude.

From celebrities to journalists to politicians, we’re told over and over again that we’re just obstructionists who would rather protect a clump of cells out of some misguided principle than help “real” suffering children just waiting for the medical treatments that will come rushing out of medical labs like a torrent once federal funding is assured. And yet, it has been shown again and again that not a single viable treatment has emerged from research on embryonic stem cells, research that has relied on billions of dollars of private funding as well as public funding from states and foreign governments. Meanwhile, adult and cord blood stem cells continue to provide treatments for diseases, yet don’t get nearly the attention or funding.

And now they have resorted to misdirection, obfuscation, and perpetuated ignorance to get the American people on their side and convince, once again, that pro-lifers are benighted medievalists who abhor science and want to enslave the world with unwanted pregnancies and religion.

[Thanks to Kelly Clark for sending the link. She has similar thoughts on this incident.]