Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Prostitutes, Stem Cells and Same-Sex Insemination

Not related except all these stories are coming out of California.

The California Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that doctors who provide artificial insemination services may not refuse treatment to homosexuals even if doing so is opposed to their religious beliefs. The decision may have wide ranging implications for conscience rights in California - and not just for doctors.

James Kushiner over at Mere Comments rightly deplores the ruling and just as rightly points out that Christian doctors shouldn't have been in the business of in-vitro fertilization in the first place.

Meanwhile, even California's $6 billion stem-cell behemoth, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, is subtly changing its priorities away from embryo-desctructive technologies and cloning. Not for any moral reason, but like stem-cell researchers around the world now know, cloning and ESCR are now relatively fruitless paths.

Since the introduction of a new technology (called iPS or reprogramming) that creates pluripotent stem cells out of adult body cells, that's where all the scientific excitement has been. Cloning hasn't yet created even a single stem cell line to study. Scientists still claim they want the availability of embryo destructive research, but that's clearly not where the action is.

Bioedge has the story on this fascinating development. Missourians who are woefully short on local news sources for actual stem cell developments should read up on these links.

No additional evidence is required to demonstrate that the heartland is saner than my old hometown, San Francisco, so this last item is just for fun.

There's a quote once attributed to a prominent San Francisco politician that (paraphrasing), "If an initiative proposing to build the sewers out of glass and run them at eye-level along the sidewalk got on the ballot, San Franciscans would vote for it."

Well, fresh off enjoying the benefits of same-sex marriage, an initiative is on the ballot in San Francisco to legalize the loving relationship between a "John" and his "sex worker."

Whatever one thinks the benefits of legalizing prostitution, this particular initiative goes well beyond that. Debra Saunders, the sole voice of sanity at the San Francisco Chronicle, explains the:

"San Francisco ballot measure completely ignores the prostitution of children."

AND

"The measure prohibits city law enforcement from applying for grants to prosecute human traffickers. That's right, this measure gives a free pass to the human sex-slave trade - in a city that is a central stop for international sex-trade rings. "

But the measure still has a good chance of passing. Here's a partial list of sponsors:

La Raza Centro Legal

San Francisco Bike Messengers Association


Sex Worker Outreach Project East

Bay Area Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World

SEIU 1021

The Lusty Ladies Theater

Axis of Love Women's Collective

It may seem like a collection of moonbats to a midwestern audience, but in SF these folks represent the political mainstream. Proof? Also on that list is The San Francisco Democratic, Green and Libertarian Parties, which pretty much covers everybody.