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RICHARD AMRHINE
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Date published: 8/5/2001

continued

Social and scientific issues that involve sex, conception, and human embryos also have proved incredibly difficult for the Bush administration. In many cases he seems to agonize over his decisions, which suggests that he's at least aware that there are differing views that merit consideration.

We know for sure that the president has fallen victim to the faulty reasoning that young people won't have sex if they're told not to. And that if they keep having sex after being told not to, then the solution is to tell them not to some more.

This is a flawed policy.

Instead, young people should have easy access to condoms to help prevent conception and the spread of disease at the same time.

Providing access to condoms
7is not an invitation to have sex. Invitations to have sex are called hormones.

Meanwhile, the administration is trying to undo progress on family planning wherever it can, by banning abortion counseling at U.S.-funded clinics overseas, for example, and proposing to end contraceptive coverage for federal employees.

An enlightened society understands the need to control its population. If a couple wants a big family, wonderful. But denying availability to contraceptives to those responsible enough to want them is short-sighted and puts ideology ahead of reason.

The same thinking is giving the president a headache as
he decides whether to allow federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research.

Sources for stem cells include surplus embryos created for in-vitro fertilization and those from aborted fetal tissues.

The policy established by Presi-dent Clinton allowed federal funding only on research that used surplus in-vitro embryos. Bush could even prevent that research if he deems the ideological concerns more important than the potential value of the research for individuals suffering from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or
diabetes.

It seems that the research has support from unexpected conservative quarters--those who have seen loved ones ravaged by those diseases. Is it unethical to work to prevent human suffering?

These issues are not as difficult to decide as President Bush seems to make them. Perhaps a visit to the Wizard would help. It worked wonders for the scarecrow.


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