President Barack Obama Guarantees Funding of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 6, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Barack Obama Guarantees Funding of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 6
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — During a meeting with leading Congressional Democrats on Thursday, President Barack Obama guaranteed he will sign an executive order forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research. That’s the unproven science that involves the destruction of days-old unborn children.

Obama has delayed overturning the limits President Bush put in place preventing funding of new embryonic stem cell research.

Bush put hundreds of millions of dollars behind the use of adult stem cells, the only kind to have ever helped patients, but he didn’t want the federal government funding the destruction of human life.

Obama previously indicated in a CNN interview that he would perhaps not sign the order but wait for Congress to send him a bill that would do so. Now, he says he will sign the order.

"I guarantee you that we will sign an executive order for stem cells," he said during the meeting, according to a Washington Times article.

His comments came in response to a question from Rep. James Langevin, a Rhode Island Democrat who is against abortion but favors embryonic stem cell research.

The Times indicates three sources in the closed-door meeting confirmed Obama made the statement. They told the newspaper Obama said he would coordinate his executive order with Congress so that and the passage of the bill would be timed concurrently.

The president, as he said in the CNN interview, reportedly told the Congressional Democrats that it is important for Congress to pass a bill so it would be harder for pro-life advocates to undo the order and put the Bush limits back in place.

In addition to the moral concerns, pro-life advocates and many scientists say embryonic stem cells still have scientific problems.

They point to the development of tumors after the injection of embryonic stem cells into animals during experiments. The cells also trigger the immune system to reject them.

These problems have never been overcome and have prevented any use of the controversial cells in humans, although the FDA recently approved a human trial.

Some scientists say the human trial will not actually involve embryonic stem cells, but embryonic-like cells that will falsely make it seem embryonic stem cell research has advanced if the trial is successful.

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