Thursday, February 02, 2006

Outting the IL GA's uberliberals: This year's test bill


Last year, there were two test bills that outted the IL General Assembly's social uberliberals: the gay special rights bill, which attracted them like pheromones, and the Born Alive bill, which repelled them like, well, dead babies.

This year's test bill is HB4156, the ban on taxpayer funded human cloning.

I spent yesterday in Springfield lobbying for HB4156. We're up to 50 co-sponsors. Only hardcore liberals would oppose such a bill. Between 75-80% of Americans consistently poll against human cloning, never mind having to pay for it, which Blagojevich forced on us with his executive order.

Only one rep yesterday flat-out refused to support HB4156. All others either said yes or that they'd consider it.

What surprised me was that the rep was a supposed pro-lifer: Careen Gordon.

Right before the 2004 election, Gordon wrote a letter to a constituent stating, "I was born and raised Catholic; as such I respect the rights of the unborn.... I have supported legislation advocated for by the Catholic Conference of Illinois and the National (sic) Federation for the Right to Life and promise to continue supporting legislation that protects the rights of the unborn."

I handed Gordon her letter yesterday and reminded her that both aforementioned groups support HB4156. She still refused to support it.

Perhaps the "rights of the unborn" Gordon planned as a candidate to protect were those of unborn clones.

There’s only one problem with that. Researchers create clones in order to dissect and kill them.

30 comments:

Anonymous,  9:26 PM  

Nothing could possibly be more telling or about your motives for outing the "uberliberals" than the little yellow patch that appears on the coat of your cute little cartoon.

Will you say anything to piss people off?

The Scientist,  10:21 PM  

Wow, you're actually calling a pro-Life Democrat an uberliberal? Have you ever thought that you might be an uberreactionary and considered that nuclear transfer does not create a new soul but merely new cells of the nuclear donor? I'm pro-Life and would love to see Roe v Wade overturned and abortion only legal when the mother was raped or her life is in danger, but I support nuclear transfer (human cloning as you call it even though the process has never been used to develop a clone) as it has the potential to be used in treatments for many horrible diseases and provides an alternative to embryonic stem cell research, which actually kills a human life with a unique genome.

And please, don't lump in gay rights with being pro-life. The two are totally distinct. I hate it that people when I say I'm pro-life think I'm some right-wing bigot who also wants to put down gays and teach intelligent design. The two are totally separate, and while I may be in a small minority, I oppose abortion and believe that gays should have fully equal marriage rights as heterosexuals.

The Scientist,  10:25 PM  

That being said, the state is in terrible fiscal shape with regards to pensions, so I probably would oppose funding this as-yet-unproven research (although it has very high potential) until we take care of pensions and education. But I would oppose it for fiscal grounds, not moral ones.

Jill Stanek 3:57 AM  

Anon, 9:26p - what are you talking about?

Scientist, 10:21 - one is not pro-life who condones cloning. Furthermore, unless you are God, you cannot possibly know what you said to be true, "that nuclear transfer does not create a new soul but merely new cells of the nuclear donor."

You're also factually incorrect to say "the process has never been used to develop a clone." Multiple sources will invalidate that nonsense. For instance, from Kimball's on-line biology textbook: "Since the arrival of Dolly, somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has been used to produce seemingly-healthy cows, mice, rats, goats, pigs, rabbits, cats, a mule ("Idaho Gem"), a horse, and a dog."

Jill Stanek 8:19 AM  

Anon, 9:26p - Pardon my naivete on using that cartoon. I have replaced it.

Anonymous,  8:56 AM  

Um, didn't the Born Alive bill pass UNANIMOUSLY? More light, less heat Ms. Stanek.

Jill Stanek 9:41 AM  

Anon, 8:56 - Born Alive 2005 caused a huge panic among IL GA liberals.

At first they dismissed it, as they had four prior years. Planned Parenthood came out against it, and the IL Med Society refused to endorse it. This put liberals in a bind when Born Alive began gaining steam.

The reason Born Alive 2005 got traction was because: 1) it was finally worded identically to the federal version, which passed unanimously in the US Senate; 2) pro-lifers were better organized and bolder.

Rep. Fritchey brokered a "compromise" that helped Planned Parenthood and IMS save face and gave pro-abort legislators a way to vote for Born Alive after they had come out against it.

The compromise was comprised of two unnecesary amendments stating Born Alive would not intrude on Roe v. Wade, and Born Alive would not intrude on accepted medical practices.

The amendments were unncessary because they were redundant. I didn't want them included, because we had the votes without them. I wanted to force uberliberals to vote against the bill. Go ahead, make my day. But I was overruled. And that is how Born Alive 2005 got through.

Recall that this was just a bill stating that born babies are legal persons. But this is how liberal the IL GA has become.

Gish,  9:56 AM  

The amendments were unncessary because they were redundant. I didn't want them included, because we had the votes without them. I wanted to force uberliberals to vote against the bill. Go ahead, make my day. But I was overruled. And that is how Born Alive 2005 got through.

Wow. This is exactly what is wrong with politics today at the national, state and local levels. Here you have someone who wants a bill passed, has stated that added amendments would be redundant therefore not changing the bill and yet insists on being divisive so they can force others to oppose it.

Uncompromising conservatives and the like-minded liberals who have this attitude are a scourge on our society.

Skeeter 10:07 AM  

A paid lobbyist?

I KNEW Stanek was just in it for the money.

Jill Stanek 10:27 AM  

Gish, 9:56 - The legislation we introduce is not just about legislation. It's also about educating both legislators and the public. Laws won't stop abortion. Only changed hearts and minds will. We had the votes to pass without amendments. The ones who would have voted against it would have also had to look in the mirror before so doing. Furthermore, their constituents should know how far they'll go to protect abortion.

Skeeter, 10:07a - Where did you get that? The first three letters of "assumption" are what one is who does so. I'm not paid to lobby.

Anonymous,  10:38 AM  

Jill (and Rich) -

I've been reading your posts for a while now, and while I disagree with many of them I've at least been interested to read your thoughts.

That said, the cartoon that originally accompanied this post was so far over the line as to require more than a small apology. It's not "naivete" to post a cartoon suggesting the liberals register and wear a yellow patch like the Jews of Germany did before the Holocaust.

Edgy rhetoric is one thing. This was another.

Jill Stanek 11:13 AM  

Anon, 10:38 - I honestly didn't "get it" until someone pointed it out to me. I'm sorry. Had I realized the connection at the time, I would not have run it.

Skeeter 11:31 AM  

Jill Stanek wrote:
"Skeeter, 10:07a - Where did you get that? The first three letters of "assumption" are what one is who does so. I'm not paid to lobby. "

Does that sort of talk fit your moral system?

Do you believe that it is completely proper to use profanity against your opponents?

Tell us again about morality, Ms. Stanek.

The Scientist,  11:42 AM  

Since when do you define what pro-Life means? Are you really willing to say that someone who opposes embryonic stem-cell research, and abortion in all cases except when the mother was raped or when her life is in danger is not pro-Life? Jill, you don't own this movement, and don't you dare say that I'm not pro-Life.

And when did God tell you that these cloned cells have souls? A human has never been developed from these cloned cells. Last time I checked, the reason that a fertilized egg is a human specimen with a soul is because it can develop into a grown human. These cells have never done this and never should. These cells do not have a unique genome, but the exact same one as the nuclear donor. They are the moral equivalent of the adult stem cells that you have rightly said so many good things about.

If you think that these cloned cells are separate, souls, then don't you ever again say that life begins at conception, because these cloned cells never experienced a conception. If these cells are new persons, then you threaten the whole rationale of the pro-Life position that life begins at conception. If life doesn't begin at conception, then it might as well begin at 1 month or 5 months of pregnancy, or at birth for that matter.

Have you ever taken time to actually reason through this and not be a knee-jerk reactionary when you see new technology that scares you?

The Scientist,  11:42 AM  

Since when do you define what pro-Life means? Are you really willing to say that someone who opposes embryonic stem-cell research, and abortion in all cases except when the mother was raped or when her life is in danger is not pro-Life? Jill, you don't own this movement, and don't you dare say that I'm not pro-Life.

And when did God tell you that these cloned cells have souls? A human has never been developed from these cloned cells. Last time I checked, the reason that a fertilized egg is a human specimen with a soul is because it can develop into a grown human. These cells have never done this and never should. These cells do not have a unique genome, but the exact same one as the nuclear donor. They are the moral equivalent of the adult stem cells that you have rightly said so many good things about.

If you think that these cloned cells are separate, souls, then don't you ever again say that life begins at conception, because these cloned cells never experienced a conception. If these cells are new persons, then you threaten the whole rationale of the pro-Life position that life begins at conception. If life doesn't begin at conception, then it might as well begin at 1 month or 5 months of pregnancy, or at birth for that matter.

Have you ever taken time to actually reason through this and not be a knee-jerk reactionary when you see new technology that scares you?

Jill Stanek 11:48 AM  

Scientist, 11:42a, 11:42a - I see you cloned your comment. I'll clone my response: You're not pro-life. You're not pro-life.

Skeeter, 11:31a - The Bible uses that word 80 times. My favorite is the story of Balaam's ass in Numbers 22.

Skeeter 11:56 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Scientist,  12:08 PM  

Frankly, Jill, I find that sickening (although the clone the comment part was clever). I was up until 4 AM last night working without pay on campaign material for a pro-Life candidate who is running against one of the most pro-Choice candidates in the General Assembly, and you have the gall to tell me that I'm not pro-Life? Well, I guess then I should just say the hell with it and make a dang $5,000 donation to Planned Parenthood, because in your precious eyes any one who degrees with you one iota isn't pro-Life. Jill, God doesn't speak to you and if you want to be like a dictator and say that anyone who has one disagreement with you is not pro-Life, go right ahead. But Jill, you are a fringe member of this movement and you speak for yourself, not the movement to end abortions and respect life that I have donated so much of my time to.

Jill Stanek 12:22 PM  

Scientist, in all seriousness, I appreciate the effort you have apparently made to the pro-life movement by supporting pro-life candidates. However, your position is not consistent, and imho, you need to reevaluate your stances on abortion for rape/incest and human cloning. In reality, you are pro-abortion with exceptions, and pro-genetic engineering with exceptions.

The Scientist,  12:25 PM  

The only way that my opinions are inconsistent is in that you don't agree with every single one of them. Like I said, you don't own or speak for the pro-Life movement, and I plan on scraping the little resources I have to make as large a donation as is within my means to Careen Gordon's campaign. Thank you for highlighting her position so that I can support this pro-Life legislator.

Skeeter 12:39 PM  

"Jill Stanek said...
Scientist, in all seriousness, I appreciate the effort you have apparently made to the pro-life movement by supporting pro-life candidates. However, your position is not consistent, and imho, you need to reevaluate your stances on abortion for rape/incest and human cloning. In reality, you are pro-abortion with exceptions, and pro-genetic engineering with exceptions."

And you are not pro-life. You are just anti-abortion. You don't care the slighest about the life.

Incidently, you mentioned the Bible in your response to me.
Do you favor slavery? Tell me more about your "morality."

Jill Stanek 1:07 PM  

Skeeter, 12:39p - If the day comes that you stop so fervantly flinging mud against the wall to see what sticks and instead stop to peacefully discuss the blog post at hand, I'll be here to dialogue.

Anonymous,  1:20 PM  

Quick, someone toss in a life preserver! (funny on many different levels)

Skeeter 1:20 PM  

Thanks for your comment, Ms. Stanek. I seem to recall you claiming:

1. The pro-choice forces are simply in it for the cash; and
2. Our gov. favors child molesters over victims.

Those were your statements, weren't they? Somebody looks pretty muddy.

The statements are not accurate though, and you know that. Of course, you routinely claim the moral highground and then act in a rude and condescending matter.

That's true, isn't it? That is your method of operation? The cheap insult and the radical statement unsupported by any facts?

That's good though, and I hope you continue. Since I am genuinely pro-life, we disagree on most issues. The more you write, the better my candidates do. Keep up the good work!

Bill Baar 2:28 PM  

The problem with cloning for me is who are the researches harvesting tissue from?

These kinds of technologies go commercial the harvesting will almost certainly be done from people in developing countries.

The potential for abuse is huge by biotechs is huge.

Jill took some heat for the cartoon, but don't overlook that it's today's Germany most deeply opposed and concerned about this kind of research and it's the direct result of Germany's experience with Biology gone bezirk under Hitler.

Gish,  3:49 PM  

Bill-

The obvious solution to your fear of biotech abuses in developing countries would be to raise the standard of living and wages in those countries. Otherwise, yes, you are probably right since there will be no difference given current multinational corporation abuses in the third world.

Also I would contest that Germany's current deep opposition to 'human cloning' research was due to Nazi biological experimentation. I would attribute it more towards the widespread distaste for any 'genetic modification' shared by most of continental europe.

-Gish

Acthung Baby 4:02 PM  

I'm not sure what's more entertaining, Jill's original post, or the comments she receives.

Bill Baar 4:14 PM  

Gish,

I'm not optimistic about income-equality as a way to end exploitation.

You might find a Communist persepective on this interesting. Read Commodification of human tissue: implications for feminist and development ethics

One effect of late capitalism--the commodification of practically everything--is to knock down the Chinese walls between the natural and productive realms, to use a Marxist framework. Women's labour in egg extraction and 'surrogate' motherhood might then be seen as what it is, labour which produces something of value. But this does not necessarily mean that women will benefit from the commodification of practically everything, in either North or South. In the newly developing biotechnologies involving stem cells, the reverse is more likely, particular given the the shortage in the North of the egg donors who will be increasingly necessary to therapeutic cloning. Although most of the ethical debate has focused on the status of the embryo, this is to define ethics with no reference to global or gender justice. There has been little or no debate about possible exploitation of women, particularly of ovum donors from the South. Countries of the South without national ethics committees or guidelines may be particularly vulnerable: although there is increasing awareness of the susceptibility of poorer countries to abuses in research ethics, very little has been written about how they might be affected by the enormously profitable new technologies exploiting human tissue. Even in the UK, although the new Medical Research Council guidelines make a good deal of the 'gift relationship', what they are actually about is commodification. If donors believe they are demonstrating altruism, but biotechnology firms and researchers use the discourse of commodity and profit, we have not 'incomplete commodification' but complete commodification with a plausibly human face.

I suspect the exploitation would go on even in the Worker's State. Given the History of Communism, much worse probably.

I'll stick with Jill's moralism.

Although I do think the comrades writing in the Brit Med Journal have forcast on exploitation right here.

Anonymous,  1:28 PM  

It is funny how you can scream and shout over and reprint dire warnings of "commodification of practically everything" with respect to the hypothetical harvesting of human embryos in communist countries, but flat-out ignore the commodification of important things in the US, like health care.

Republicans want to make health care a consumer good - flat out. Health Savings Accounts? We have a negative savings rate - where are middle and lower-income people going to get this money to save?

Many of you who crusade these causes have laudable passion for potential human beings...but once that potential is realized, well, you're on your own, pal. Good Luck.

The best description was delivered by Sister Joan Chittister -- she tagged evangelicals who are so strongly in favor of ending birth control and abortion, but who so enthusiastically oppose most social welfare "Pro-Birth." That pretty much sums up your movement. Out of womb, out of mind.

Smart guy,  3:53 PM  

All I can say about commodification and all that is that Robert Nozick was clearly the most correct philosopher of the 20th century. He was totally correct when he said that if an exchange is consentually agreed to by all parties involved, it is a just act. Thus, if women freely sell their eggs, whether they be from the 3rd world or wherever, it is completely just as no one is forcing them to do this. Note this applies to eggs, not embryos, as embryos can be considered to be their own individuals so they would not consent to being sold as they cannot do so.

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