An Authentic, Sometimes Gritty, and Always Hopeful Blog for All Who Live with Severe Physical Pain

Monday, July 23, 2012

"Stem Express" Horror

What I learned this week, simply because something jumped out at me from an article I had picked up to read, has left me feeling as though I’ve been dropped onto some kind of science fiction/horror movie set.

Did you know that you can buy embryonic and fetal tissue on-line now?  That’s one of the things I’ve learned. 

Even if you do not want to think about embryonic research, or if you believe you are already knowledgeable about it, I hope you will read this.  I don’t like to think about it either, nor do I normally write about such things. 

But today I must because when God shows me something like this, I simply can’t keep it to myself.

Using embryos for medical research is disdainful to me…I do not want my illness to be cured as the result of the death of others, either living or in the process of being formed.  In the newsletter, which is one I receive regularly, there was a three page article from the University of California at San Francisco, touting the success of Dr. Allan Basbaum, PhD, who obtained a “small fraction” of success (i.e. very, very, very tiny) at developing functional neurons when his team transplanted embryonic nerve cells into mice. 

It further stated his team’s plans to test for similar results with transplanted fetal cells.

Fetal cells,”  I wondered.  What exactly is the difference between embryonic and fetal cells?”

  I began to dig and made some discoveries that I couldn’t believe I didn’t already
  know.  How can I be so ignorant?!

1 - First of all, I learned that embryonic “cells” are much more than the “blobs” pictured in books and journals; actually, they can be up to 9 weeks gestation.  That’s when they get that curved boiled-shrimp kind of look and have those deep black eyes.  Way different than blobs of cells floating around.

2 - Now about fetal cells…fetuses up to 12 weeks gestation qualify. Here’s a photo of a 12 week old fetus. How I remember rejoicing when my son and daughter-in-law called to tell us about our grandbaby’s healthy sonagram at 12 weeks gestation!  I had gone to the internet and looked up an image of a 12 week old fetus--sure looks a lot like a baby to me:

3 - If you want to purchase some embryonic cells or fetal “tissue”, all you have to do is order some on-line.  You can just use your credit card.

At you’ll find a full line of “products” under embryonic and fetal product listings.  This following sentence made my heart quiver just a bit:

Normal donors are tested for blood borne pathogens and
are negative for HIV-1 and -2, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. “

Who, pray tell, is a “normal donor”?

(…Are you certain this isn’t a horror movie set?)

My question became this: 

 “When  when did it become so easy 
to obtain free access to the unborn people?”

I found the answer.  It was in March 2009, coincidentally, the same month my first grandchild became an embryo herself:

President Barack H. Obama issued Executive Order 13505: Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells. The Executive Order states that the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the Director of NIH (National Institutes of Health) may support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research, to the extent permitted by law.

Here’s what the president had to say about it:

“Today, with the Executive Order I am about to sign, we will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers; doctors and innovators; patients and loved ones have hoped for, and fought for, these past eight years: we will lift the ban on federal funding* for promising embryonic stem cell research. We will vigorously support scientists who pursue this research. And we will aim for America to lead the world in the discoveries it one day may yield.”

*Federal Funding means yours and my tax dollars, by the way.  In 2011 a lawsuit presented by the US Court of Appeals was thrown out that challenged this.

May God, forgive us.  And may He open our eyes, indwell our hearts, and compel our actions for good.  For there are things much worse…much more horrific… than pain and disease.




  1. It is a sickening topic. Thank you for shedding Light upon it. We ought not be ignorant of this horrific scientific travesty.

    I say along with you, Judi, "May God, forgive us. And may He open our eyes, indwell our hearts, and compel our actions for good."

    1. Judi-
      Thank you for this Huge Eye-Opener!!!

      People have "Free-Will" to making these decisions-God also has a "Watchful Eye!"


  2. Thanks, my friends. I know this is one of those topics that won't get a lot of "read time" on my blog and I get that. I'd rather not think about it either--it feels so "huge" and I feel impotent to change anything. Yet, "...if my people will pray" fits here,doesn't it? May we, at least, ask what He would have us do.

  3. Thanks Judi for posting on this subject... it was an eye opener and a shock to realize what you can purchase online. Yes, May God forgive them. I agree with Martha, people have free will and God has a watchful eye. Someday all this will be played before a Holy God and those babies who died for "research" sake will be in heaven. Good post sister. Thanks for bringing us up to date on this issue.

    1. Indeed, life will live on in glory. Thank you for your comments,friends.

  4. Judi, Thank you so much for this well-written, important post. Please continue in your quest for important writing. I appreciate you and hope you are doing well. I have not been on my blog list for a while, so it is good to hear you are writing away!

  5. Marcia--Great to hear from you, friend! According to God's grace, I will continue to do what I believe He calls me to and be. Open and honest, even when I am not in a good place. Pain remains center stage, however, it is okay. He makes it so. My best to you and yours, dear one.