My Hopes For Rick Santorum’s Daughter

Recently Rick Santorum had to take a break from campaigning for president to be with his 3 year old daughter, Isabella, who suffers from a genetic disease. From what I understand, the genetic condition, known as Trisomy 18, is often fatal. Santorum has said his daughter wasn’t expected to live more than 12 months.

I admire his dedication to his family and I suspect Santorum is a good father to his seven children. I can scarcely imagine how difficult it must be to have a doctor tell you that your child has a genetic disease that will likely prevent her from living to adulthood.

Count me among the millions of people who pray that a cure is found so that young Isabella can live a long life. But I pray for much more than that. I pray that federally funded stem cell research can lead to a cure for this and many other terrible diseases that shorten and diminish the lives of millions of people.

Rick Santorum is, of course, one of the most staunchly anti-abortion politicians in the country. Because he opposes abortion for any reason and any circumstance, he supported President Bush’s ban on federal funding of most stem cell research. He believes stem cell research will result in “fetus-farming,” where women will become pregnant just so researchers can abort them and harvest cells for medical research.

There is no evidence that the ban on funding in any way reduced the number of abortions in the United States. No rational person could conclude that funding of stem cell research somehow encourages women to have abortions.

But the ban on funding of stem cell research did have one noticeable effect. It caused the United States to fall years behind other countries in this important research and it slowed down the creation of new treatments and even cures for many diseases.

In any event, I do hope a cure is found for Santorum’s young daughter, but it would be especially appropriate if a cure is developed from the federally funded stem cell research made possible by President Obama that Rick Santorum opposes so strongly.