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California Stem Cell Agency Rewards Blasphemy While Admitting the Humanity of Embryos Slated for Destruction

Contact: Dana Cody, Life Legal Defense Foundation, Executive Director, 707-337-6889

MEDIA ADVISORY, Oct. 8 /Christian Newswire/ -- The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (California's $6 Billon clone and destroy agency), has awarded a top prize to a patently blasphemous poem in its October 6 "Stem Cell Awareness Day" poetry contest. As if squandering taxpayer money on propaganda to promote "Stem Cell Awareness Day" were not enough, CIRM is bent on mocking the most sacred of Christian texts.

The poem by Tyron Anderson, one of two prize-winning pieces in the October 6 contest, begins "This is my body which is given for you" and ends, "Take this in remembrance of me," unambiguous references to Christ's words at the Last Supper and the words with which Holy Communion is celebrated to this day. The choice of this poem for a prize represents the deliberate pilfering of the holiest of voluntary, sacrificial acts in the history of humanity for a shoddy pep piece in CIRM's campaign to promote the wholesale destruction of human life.

Beyond the blasphemy, however, is the poem's inadvertent acknowledgment of the personhood of these embryos whom the CIRM otherwise sees merely as a source from which to harvest pluripotent stem cells. "The poem's premise is that the embryo is a person wishing to give its life. But why we should assume that the embryo is saying, 'Let me help,' rather than 'Let me live'?" asks LLDF President Dana Cody. "Are these scientists attempting to assuage their guilt over their exploitation of and experimentation on unconsenting human subjects by telling themselves that the victims really want to give up their lives?"

Another prizewinning poem relates the life a young woman -- from her beginnings as a one-cell fertilized egg. Later in life, stem cells offer hope of a cure for her unspecified disease. Given the acknowledgment that she herself began life as a single cell, one would hope that the stem cells used to cure her were not derived by the destruction of other humans just as unique as her.

The poems can be read at www.cirm.ca.gov/PressRelease_100610. By rewarding these poems, CIRM has cavalierly declared the humanity of these embryos, and yet it continues to attempt to justify their wholesale destruction in a headlong quest for "cures" and "hope," while largely ignoring the ethical alternatives that exist through full funding for ethical and successful adult stem cell therapies.

Life Legal Defense Foundation initiated the lawsuit People's Advocate v. ICOC, challenging the constitutionality of the Governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to fund human embryonic stem cell research after the 2004 California election where CIRM was established by voter initiative.  The Foundation was established in 1989, and is a non-profit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens committed to the sanctity of human life. 

For more information, call Dana Cody at 707.337.6889.