Open letter to William Beckman, executive director of Illinois Right to Life

Dear Mr. Beckman,

In a recent NY Times article, you stated the following:

“They’re desperately trying to find ways to get public money, because otherwise they’re going out of business,” Mr. Beckman said of stem cell researchers. “Our governor has now been suckered into something that is going to waste taxpayers’ money.”

The reality of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s executive order is a win/win situation for both pro-life and pro-choice advocates. His executive order outlaws the use of embryonic stem cells harvested from aborted fetuses. It also outlaws the cloning of embryos in order to continue this research. Both of these provisions seem to me to be exactly a couple of the things your organization fights for. But your comments completely discount ANY benefit at all from this type of research.For example, by expanding embryonic stem cell research in a way such as Gov. Blagojevich just did, we, as a country, could see the cure to juvenile diabetes. We could realize the end of the suffering of those with Alzheimer’s and of their families. Those who have suffered permanently-disabling spinal cord injuries could potentially walk again. Unfortunately, from your stance, the only ones deserving a chance at life are the unborn. Unfortunately, your organization’s stance on this issue is that those who have already been born, regardless of what disease or ailment they suffer, must “deal with it”. Nevermind that the worldwide advances in this type of research are showing promise. Nevermind that both of my grandfathers passed away from Alzheimer’s, or that my father suffers from diabetes as well as being a prime candidate for Alzheimer’s disease, or that my brother and I could also eventually die from Alzheimer’s since we are also prime candidates. I guess our lives have little meaning to you or your organization.

I would hope, Mr. Beckman, that you or your family never have to deal with diseases such as these. I would hope that God keeps you and yours completely healthy and disease-free for the remainder of your lives because, if you or a loved one ever experienced any of the diseases that could be cured by expanding this type of research, as I have, you might just change your mind.

The only thing left to say to you and your organization is “Shame on you” for choosing death to those living with these debilitating diseases. And shame on you for choosing the “potential” life of an unborn child over the life of someone already living.

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