Embryonic Stem Cell Research Funding Backers Likely to Use Obama, Congress

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 5, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Embryonic Stem Cell Research Funding Backers Likely to Use Obama, Congress

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 5
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Backers of making taxpayers fund embryonic stem cell research that involves the destruction of human life are likely to try use both the White House and Congress to implement their agenda. Either way, it appears likely that the protections President Bush put into place in August 2001 won’t stand.

Bush instituted a policy preventing any funding for new embryonic stem cell research that involves killing days-old unborn children.

He did allow federal funding for older embryonic stem cells and significant funding for adult stem cell research — the only kind to have ever helped human patients.

Both incoming president Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders want the Bush limits overturned and both are likely to be involved in doing so.

It appears likely that Obama will quickly issue an executive order overturning the Bush limits and paving the way for funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Congress, which has already twice approved a bill Bush vetoed to overturn the limits would likely follow up Obama’s executive order with legislation to make his funding provisions federal law.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the New York Times that, regardless of what Obama does, she wants legislation in place to allow the controversial funding.

"I myself would favor legislation, so it is the law," she said.

Rep. Diana DeGette, a Democrat from Colorado, also told the newspaper she favors both an Obama executive order as well as Congressional legislation for funding.

"I think we can do this in a win-win situation," she said — adding that she wants Obama to act so funding for the unproven science can happen more quickly than a bill alone would allow.

Although Democrats appear to have enough votes to force through legislation to fund the destructive science, a leading pro-life advocate told the newspaper he and other pro-life lawmakers will do their best to delay it or vote it down.

"Pro-life members in both caucuses will fight strongly to preserve sanctity of life ethics," Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Joe Pitts said. "If they force it by legislation, those will be the votes the pro-life community will score to educate the voters as to where members stand on these issues."

Pro-life advocates will also likely focus on how embryonic stem cell research is no longer in vogue, as adult stem cells continue to show the most success along with iPS cells that are adult stem cells reverted through direct reprogramming to an embryonic-like state.

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