Our Bishop wrote a piece in the Catholic Sun about Obama's reversal on embryonic stem cell research. All of the 5 action items he encourages are important, however the "uber"action item that I feel is the most important right now is the final one: We must not lose hope.
When I was pregnant with Jake 13 years ago, my OB and I were involved in an interesting conversation about cord blood. (I never asked but I got a really good sense that he was a Catholic). He told me that cord blood (blood that is contained in the umbilical cord of newborns) had properties that would be beneficial to people seeking transplants and who would otherwise require bone marrow transplants. He was saddened by the fact that his patients expressing interest in donating their cord blood would need to also fork over about $1000 or more dollars in order to subsidize the storage and maintenance fees associated with a donation of this sort. We both lamented, that something was terribly of wrong with that kind of thinking. Here is blood that would otherwise be discarded, that did not take a human being out of existence, but rather, helped to sustain and nourish a new life and that could also bring life, health and healing to others.
Why do I bring this up now? Because now people, including my own Bishop, are talking about it which means that there has been an effort to make this a reality. What if every woman in my church asked her OBGYN about what they were doing to make fetal cord blood donation a possibility? How about if every woman in Phoenix? Arizona?? The US??? This is what is meant by hope. The opposite of hope is despair and despair deadens our resolve and dampens our spirit. It causes paralysis. We mustn't lose hope because hope compels us to act. It's also contagious...consider the underground railroad.
Here's the entire article. Item 3 also talks about those umbilical stem cells.