In late July, Senator Bill Frist formally broke with the pro-life community’s opposition to embryonic stem cell research. Bill Donohue wasn’t pleased and let the media know his thoughts:
“Here is what Senator John Kerry said when running for president: ‘I believe life does begin at conception.’ Here is what Senator Bill Frist is now saying: ‘I believe human life begins at conception.’ They now agree on one more thing: They will do absolutely nothing to protect the beginning of innocent human life.
“Frist is worse than Kerry. Kerry, a lawyer, said his position on the beginning of human life was based on ‘my Catholic belief.’ Frist, a physician, says that while his Christian faith informs his position, there’s more to it: ‘But, to me, it isn’t just a matter of faith. It’s a fact of science.’
“And it’s a fact of politics that Frist is such a hypocrite. His change of heart has nothing to do with any scientific breakthrough: there is no new evidence suggesting that the human embryo does not constitute human life, nor is there any evidence that embryonic stem cell research can be performed without killing embryos. What’s changed is that Dr. Duplicity wants to be president.
“Frist still calls himself ‘strong[ly] pro-life,’ and says he gives ‘huge moral significance to the human embryo.’ Furthermore, he says the human embryo ‘is nascent human life,’ explaining that we should ‘treat that embryo with dignity, with respect.’ Which raises the question: If it’s okay to snuff out the beginning of human life, how much dignity and respect may logically be accorded the dead?
Several leading newspapers, including the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, picked up on Donohue’s characterization of Frist as “Dr. Duplicity.”