National Review Institute: Robert George, Maggie Gallagher, and Ed Whelan

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Liveblogging a Conservative All-Star Lineup!

Robert George: “Truth is luminously powerful.”

Making the case that “each of us once an embryo.” Incrementalism, as a strategy, can be entirely honorable. As long as it isn’t a euphemism for surrender. Small victories can help to get public opinion moving in the right direction. The debate around “Born Alive” survivors of abortion and “partial birth abortion” have focused attention on the realities of abortion and that it truly is a child, and not a choice. Sonography, also showing the “wondrously human life of the child in the womb.”

The movement must work to make high-quality sonography more available. Pro-abortion movement, of course, is fighting this. Why? “Might hurt the fetus.”

Much appreciative laughter.

Abortion is an issue of profound moral significance. But another shadow looms: biotechnology. No one should be against the advance of technology. In the long run, the issue is not about spare embryos, the real issue is the pratice of creating human embryos for cloning. There are not nearly enough spare embryos for the uses scientists want to put them to. Hundreds of thousands will soon be needed. In vitro embryos are products of the genetic lottery. They aren’t a match of the patient in need. Cloning is a match.

Legislation in NJ considers funding fetal farming. Which is where all this leads.

Most Americans are repulsed by the idea of gestating a baby and harvesting it. At least for now.

(Editorial comment: that is an important caveat!)

We should all support stem cell research but insist that human life not be destroyed in the process.

Turning to marriage: conservatives should be clear about why it is important. Marriage is a pre-political institution. It is not created by the law; it is recognized by the law.

There is a reason all cultures recognize and regulate marriage. Governments rely on famlies to produce something they cannot produce: decent, upright citizens.

Where the family fades, the state will enter. Everyone suffers when the family fails. Someone has to pay for increased public services and that someone is the taxpayer.

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