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Editor of the Reformer:

All life is dependent on crossing the viability barrier known as birth. There are no guarantees for the germination of a planted seed. The seed of man in the womb is no different.

In 2016, Vermont had the highest national prevalence rates of inherited Type 1 diabetics in people under the age of 20. Currently, nearly 60,000 Vermonters are living with diabetes that costs this state an estimated half billion dollars annually. A recent report shows there are 174,000 prediabetics in Vermont (36 percent of the adult population!).

In December 2000 when the Republican dominated Supreme Court effectively put George Bush into the White House, his administration was in position to act on shutting down the ongoing vital research with embryonic stem cells. With the support of Republican majorities in the House and Senate the conservative bluenose viewpoint of the religious right turned the well-intentioned science behind stem cell research into a heavily politicized and publicized biblical morality fight, falsely claiming, killing embryos used in stem cell research condones killing babies to benefit those living with diseases.

Had stem-cell replacement therapy proceeded along the R&D lines it had been taking during the Clinton administration, its widespread use throughout the medical industry today would have crippled and collapsed the United States economy. It's long known then and now how ubiquitous the pharmaceutical and medical industries dominate this nation's public, corporate and political economies. Stem cell replacement procedures would have rendered much of the current costly prescriptions, doctor visits, diabetic technical products and hospital procedures as unnecessary by significant numbers.

Instead of puncturing their skin several thousand times annually and daily living on the edge of near-death experiences, Type 1 diabetics can benefit from stem cell therapy where their body would have regrown its own pancreas with replication of their own cells to replace diseased ones. In effect, stem cell organ self-replacement would let the pancreas of Type 1 diabetics make its own insulin again.

Over the past decade, stem cell replacement would have benefitted and saved tens of millions of Americans from the horrors of living with and dying from spinal cord injuries, Type 1 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, stroke, burns, osteoarthritis, cancer and other deadly and chronic diseases Yet, under the pretext of saving babies, conservative Christians in power chose to deny life-giving stem cell procedures to tens of millions Americans over these past twenty years.

Embryonic stem cell research struggles still to recover from the stigma Christians unjustly fostered on medical science. Embryonic stem cells' greatest value is that they are pluripotent which means they can develop into every kind of cell and tissue. And they do not come from aborted fetuses and never did.

Humans have many ways to destroy life. Embryonic stem cell procedures are not one of them. Is there no end to the ways Americans will deny another to life and limb for the sake of being master of a fictitious higher ground that can never serve or tolerate the coexistent diversity of different ideas and people necessary to this land of the free?

Vidda Crochetta

Brattleboro, Jan. 7


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