Oklahoma senator Ralph Shortey is a man on a sacred mission.
Steel-bent on protecting the health of American citizens, the Republican has proposed a new bill that would ban the use of “aborted fetuses in food” and drink, ensuring that no member of this great land will ever have to worry about consuming fetuses again.
You know, because whenever I’m grocery shopping, I always make sure to check that what I buy is fetus-free.
If you weren’t worried enough about the collective state of sanity in Senate, Shortey is completely serious. The Oklahoma senator admitted that he’s not aware of any companies that…err…actually use fetuses (minor detail, really), but said that “Internet research” tipped him off to the possibility.
One can find all sorts of sketchy evidence on the Internet, so unless Shortey fesses up, there’s no way to pinpoint precisely what “Internet research” he’s referring to. Sources suggest, however, that the senator may be getting his information from a multi-month-old campaign against PepsiCo, led by pro-life activist group Children of God for Life. What has drawn the activists’ ire? According to Care2’s Robin Marty, “[PepsiCo] works with a research and development company that uses a line of embryonic kidney stem cells created in the 1970s to test ‘flavor enhancers.’”
Because that’s totally the same thing as putting aborted fetuses in people’s drinks.
But as Steven D. Foster Jr. aptly notes in a column, we shouldn’t let the ridiculousness of Shortey’s claim distract us. In fact, Shortey might just be a little more rational, and a lot more intelligent, than we’ve been assuming.
Quoth Foster: “Obviously I completely support making it illegal to make or sell food that contains human fetuses if such a thing even exists (it doesn’t). But if you read the bill and think about it for a minute, it also covertly outlaws stem cell research and stem cell products used for medicinal purposes that could one day cure diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease among many other ailments. Depending on the source, stem cell treatments could fall under a ‘product that contains aborted human fetuses.’ You “consume” medicine in the same sense that you “consume” food; it enters the body and is processed in some fashion. Whether it is used for energy or to heal a damaged brain is irrelevant to this law. The Republicans in Oklahoma are attempting to outlaw stem cell research and treatments under the guise of forbidding the use of fetuses in food.”
Well said, sir.
But stem cell research proponents need not worry; Shortey’s bills have a history of being stopped cold in their tracks. His last few, a nice set of works aimed to seize property from illegal immigrants, deny citizenship to children of non-citizen parents, and, a true classic, demand President Obama’s birth certificate, died before making it to a vote.
So, fetus-food-lovers rejoice. Your right to eat and drink aborted fetuses lives on.
Photo Credit: wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/File:Human_embryonic_stem_cell_colony_phase.jpg