(This Wounded-Courier article was originally posted on July 21, 2006. In light of the victory for stem cell research on Tuesday, here's one from the vault.)
WASHINGTON, DC – Following his veto of the bill to remove funding restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research, President Bush called today for a Constitutional amendment to protect the “sanctity of life and civil liberties of all frozen embryos.”
Rejoined by the same “adopted” frozen embryo families who served as a backdrop to Wednesday’s rousing veto address, Bush reiterated his stem cell stance and then went a step further. “As I said previously, these children surrounding me are not spare parts. All of them were once just frozen embryos. But now these popsicles of life are fulfilling their human, God-given potential. They’ve grown arms and legs…can think and feel, walk and talk. Heck, one of the mothers over there even said her little boy can do cat’s cradle. I still couldn't do that.” Pausing, Bush joked, “Some might say they’re more advanced than many of us adults,” drawing laughter from both the families and members of the press.
“Two days ago,” Bush continued, “I vetoed that bill because it supported the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others. Today, I reaffirm my belief and stand defiant before the pontificators of an immoral science. And I say no to those in immediate need of cures who seek genetic handouts from the government rather than looking inward and embracing the personal responsibility of self-reliance.” Rapping the podium with his fist, Bush’s declared, “I refuse to stand by and watch a frozen embryonic Bataan Death March. That’s why today I’m calling on Congress to pass an amendment to the Constitution that would protect the civil rights of all human embryos, including the right to free speech, religion and the right to bear arms.”
Critics maintain that the majority of the over 400,000 frozen embryos sitting in U.S. fertility clinics will be thrown out because the couples who produced them are no longer trying to conceive. What’s more, these same couples do not want strangers raising their biological children. Conversely, couples who are still seeking to conceive children often prefer the godlike power trip of creating biological beings in their own image, thus ensuring a genetic legacy of idiosyncratic neuroses. Nevertheless, Bush argued, “It’s better that hundreds of thousands of these, uh, frozen life cubes meet their maker with dignity than be violated by the zealous Frankensteins and liberal Kevorkians of the medical community.”
Added Bush, “The very same liberals who complain about the treatment of enemy combatants, killers who have no value for the sanctity of human life, would sentence these, uh…these frozen dinners of humanity to an early grave. In other words, that's like tossing a frozen dinner in the garbage before anyone's got a chance to cook it.”
Some, like Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), reject Bush’s analysis, saying it’s tantamount to calling every couple that produces unused embryos murderers, including those who allow fertility clinics to cultivate and store the embryos. When told of Harkin’s comment, Bush smiled and replied, “Thanks for the hat tip. I’ll get Grand Inquisitor right on that. That's my nickname for Alberto.”
Bush declined to field formal questions from the press. Instead, after evading UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's latest call for a ceasefire in the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, Bush attended a birthday pig roast for one of the former frozen embryo children. When a reporter shouted out a question about the roiling Middle East conflict in which hundreds of innocent civilians, mostly Lebanese, have already been killed, Bush, a stickler for keeping to a schedule, stayed focused on the task at hand. “Going to a pig roast. Can’t be late. Like pig. Heck, at least that’s one thing Jews and Muslims can agree on, right? No pig. Not sure how they do it. Love that salty tang. That snap. The charred flesh. Little Billy over there - it’s his birthday - he’s getting his first taste today. A real Texas pig roast. Billy’s gonna be four, which is, what, like twelve in frozen embryo years.”