Second Bioethics Advisor Shows Obama Promoting Embryonic Research, Cloning

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 20, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Second Bioethics Advisor Shows Obama Promoting Embryonic Research, Cloning

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 20
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Barack Obama has appointed another bioethics advisor whose appointment, pro-life observers say, makes it clear he will force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research. The appointment of Alta Charo, a former member of Bill Clinton’s Bioethics Advisory Commission, also could pave the way for human cloning.

Charo is a professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin and she will serve on Obama’s Health and Human Services team.

She is a well-known advocate of embryonic stem cell research and has sparred with Wesley J. Smith, a noted attorney and author who is a top bioethics watchdog.

"The new Obama Administration is going to push full speed ahead pouring money into embryonic stem cell research and, I worry, human cloning," Smith said in response to the news of Charo’s appointment.

"This concern is heightened by the appointment of Alta Charo to the transition team," he added.

"Charo, like so many academics, is very radical (from my perspective) on these and most other bioethical issues, and so–as I have said previously–we are entering very dark days," Smith explained.

Smith has said he believes Obama may wind up tapping Charo to head his bioethics council — which, he says, will wind up being a "stacked deck" in favor of embryonic stem cell research and human cloning.

Smith says a Charo-led council would move in the opposite direction from the Leon Kass-led council that President Bush put together and advocates limits on research involving the destruction of human life.

The early appointment of Charo could also lead to a high post in the Department of Health and Human Services, where she could promote Obama’s pro-abortion views on abortion, birth control and abstinence education.

The Charo appointment follows that of Jonathan Moreno, a professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, to head up bioethics efforts for Obama.

In an interview with the Pew Forum in July, Moreno made it clear that he strongly supports embryonic stem cell research funding and has little regard for human life at its earliest stage.

"If you talk to any of the stem cell biologists, they’ll tell you that the need for human embryonic stem cells continues and will continue for the foreseeable future for a number of reasons," Moreno said.

However, scientists are moving away from embryonic stem cell research and towards adult stem cells, which have been the only kind to ever cure or help human patients, and the new iPS cells created through direct reprogramming.

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