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05 / 03 / 2008 - MIT scientist calls abortion immoral
Dr. James Sherley speaks against abortion in Cabot Auditorium last night
Dr. James Sherley argued for the protection of unborn life and the illegalization of abortions, calling society's acceptance of abortion "a vacation of reason" during a lecture sponsored by Jumbos for Life last night.
Sherley is a senior scientist at the Boston Biomedical Research Institute and a professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"I'm glad that there are people here who are interested in discussing this topic," Sherley said in the beginning of his talk at Pearson Hall.
Sherley started by asking why some people accept abortion, explaining that in order to reduce or end abortions, there must be an understanding of those who accept it. "One of the things we sort of need in this debate is for the reason that has gone out of it to return," he said.
Sherley began his career speaking out against embryonic stem cell research, although he was in favor of abortion rights.
"At the time, I was what you call 'pro-choice.' I was in fact not anti-abortion," he said, admitting that he chose the "passive position," partially because of his passion for equal rights.
Currently, Sherley calls himself adamantly opposed to abortion.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade, which labeled abortion as a fundamental right of American women, there have been 34 million recorded abortions, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Sherley described the statistic as constituting "the grim holocaust of the modern age."
According to the CDC, one in every five potential births in the United States ends in abortion, and this number has been relatively constant for the past ten years, Sherley said. These numbers are not counted as deaths because the U.S. government does not currently count unborn fetuses as legal persons.
If counted, abortions would increase the U.S. death rate by 50 percent, according to Sherley. "If you're not born in this country, you can't die," he said.
Sherley explained that those who support abortions believe that development before birth cannot be counted like development after birth. He called this an unscientific and erroneous position to take because the only difference between an embryo and a living person is the stage of development.
Sherley also pointed to the Declaration of Independence - which states that life is one of the rights endowed to all men - as evidence of the faulty reasoning behind supporting abortions.
Sherley then analyzed the positions of the current presidential candidates on the abortion issue, declaring that the term "pro-choice" is in fact a misnomer.
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is "pro-abortion" and also supports embryonic stem-cell research. Obama's position, according to Sherley, is inconsistent because he only supports research with discarded embryos. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) takes a similar position. Sherley said, however, that Clinton's claim that abortions are "rare" is not a statistical reality. Sherley accuses Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) of taking a "vacation of responsibility" because he wants the issue of abortion to be decided by the states.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has the clearest, most straightforward position, according to Sherley. He is opposed to both abortion and stem-cell research. Huckabee ended his run for the Republican presidential nomination last night shortly after Sherley's lecture.
Source: TuftsDaily.com --