Yup, that thing pictured above is what is causing all these divisiveness and argument. It is a human embryonic stem cell. During his eight years in office, President Bush took a hard line on the stem cell issue, eventually banning the use of federal monies in research using these guys. Now President Obama has opened to door for money to flow into this research once again.
This is sure to whip up a frenzy on both sides. The problem that the right has in trying to argue their side is that they somehow try to attach this issue to the abortion one, when it is not really that intertwined. To give you an example, this is a quote from Representative Christopher Smith (R) of New Jersey “I don’t think it will fly, because the movement in the country is in favor of life." He said this right after calling President Obama "The Abortion President."
Now correct me if I am wrong, but the goal of embryonic stem cell research is to save lives. Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and diabetes are all within the cross hairs of this research. You cannot use the life argument against something that will save lives, it makes you sound highly hypocritical. Most of the embryonic stem cells that will be used will come from fertility clinics, where they would otherwise be thrown away, literally thrown away. Many states, like my home state of Michigan, have passed laws which restrict the source of embryonic stem cells and also strictly ban any form of human cloning or research into that field. With some common sense legislation like Michigan's, you cannot tell a person with Parkinson's that you are defending life by forbidding research that could save his or her life.
It is my opinion that we can find a middle ground on this issue. Life is worth preserving, both in the womb and when threatened by a debilitating disease. Put into effect some commonsense legislation to restrict the source and guide the research, and there should be NO ethical concerns regarding stem cells. I invite thoughtful comments and criticisms to my thoughts.