UPDATE: Drudge has latched onto the BBC story and splashed it in red. Oh well, Here's my better sourced version.
George Bush doesn't believe in funding stem-cell research. In a horror story breaking out of the Ukraine, we now get to see exactly what kind of brave new world we're looking at. Failing to fund stem-cell research through orthodox channels has produced a black market that is so deep and dark and black to be positively satanic.
The BBC is reporting:
Healthy new-born babies may have been killed in Ukraine to feed a flourishing international trade in stem cells..Disturbing video footage of post-mortem examinations on dismembered tiny bodies raises serious questions about what happened to them.
Who needs regulation and legal research when the market can solve the problem?
Of course, it could just be a matter of trying to look pretty:
She doesn't care if the treatment is expensive, involves babies and is so controversial that it is not allowed to be performed in this country - among her well-heeled friends, this is the ultimate new elixir of youth.
The attractive brunette has opted for a controversial stem- cell therapy where umbilical cord tissue from new-born babies will be injected into her body.
It may seem distasteful, but thousands of women have already done it and it is organised by a seemingly respectable British clinic then carried out in Rotterdam, Holland, where rules regarding stemcell therapies are not so strict.
In the worst possible way, we learn the price of government failure. Michael Fox reminded us that stem cell research is absolutely vital. However, the world has been slow to respond. The US ban on federally funded stem-cell research is NOT, of course, directly responsible for infanticide in the Ukraine, if that's what's actually taken place. From the BBC link.
In its report, the Council describes a general culture of trafficking of children snatched at birth, and a wall of silence from hospital staff upwards over their fate.
The pictures show organs, including brains, have been stripped - and some bodies dismembered.
A senior British forensic pathologist says he is very concerned to see bodies in pieces - as that is not standard post-mortem practice.
Abortion rights, however, may well be a key issue in the next Presidential election. Bush has already stacked the Supreme Court with conservatives. The Bush approach has been to fuse the issue of abortion to stem-cell research and try to ban both. How much legal stem-cell research is going to be conducted in the US in coming years? One way or the other, it seems, medical research facilities are going to get the materials they need.
Is the Ukraine story the canary in the coal mine? Life is cheap in the 21st century. 2.8 million AIDS victims died this year. Both Dems and Republicans in Congress shrugged, along with the rest of the "civilized" world and spoke of the need to do something.
Slavery is alive and well, with nearly 12.3 million souls around the world bound in some form of indentured labor in the sex, agriculture and domestic industries. Most of the victims are women and children. If the Ukraine story is true, these "modern day slaves" may be the lucky ones.
Blaming Bush for everything is easy and without doubt his insane anti-condom policies in Africa, (finally over-turned) and refusal to fund stem-cell research are criminally irresponsible.
But what can we do to ensure that stem-cell research goes forward now? How can we ensure that only legal abortions take place? And that women get early and private access to all family planning options? Will the US provide the necessary leadership in the UN to ensure that any black market in infant tissue ends before it properly begins?
UPDATE: Some folks think the BBC story too implausible. So here's how the efficient black market in fetuses is supposed to work according to an interview with one pro-stem-cell researcher:
Evidence gathered by the Moscow police department has shown a growing black market in aborted foetuses, which are smuggled into Russia from the Ukraine and Georgia.
Here, poverty-stricken young women are paid 200 U.S. dollars to carry babies up to the optimum eight to 12-week period - thought to be best for harvesting stem cells. They are then sold on to cosmetic clinics.
'The cavalier attitude of Russian cosmetic surgeons is grotesque,' says Dr Minger. 'The origin of the cells is ethically immoral. Furthermore, they don't bother to test for compatibility between the cells injected and the patient who receives them. Medical risks from complications can include infection, tumours and rejection of foreign tissue.'