President Barack Obama Stem Cell Promise Just a Biotech Industry Bailout

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

President Barack Obama Stem Cell Promise Just a Biotech Industry Bailout

by Maria Vitale Editorial Columnist
February 6, 2009 Note: Maria Vitale is an editorial opinion columnist for She is the Public Relations Director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation and Vitale has written and reported for various broadcast and print media outlets, including National Public Radio, CBS Radio, and AP Radio.

In a truly ill-conceived move, President Barack Obama has made a promise that will cause our nation to slide down the slope toward certain death. The pledge comes in the form of his guarantee that he will sign an executive order forcing taxpayers to pay for an expansion of anti-life embryonic stem cell research.

The media, who often make no distinction between forms of stem cell research that kill embryos and those that do not, will undoubtedly hail this development as progress, and a return of science to its rightful place in federal funding priorities.

Congress, which includes quite a few more pro-abortion stalwarts than it used to, is poised to cement the deal by passing legislation that would make it difficult for a future pro-life President (and there will be one) to undo his order in the future.

To kill human beings in the name of science is disgraceful. To do so with our tax dollars is all the more egregious.

The embryo who is killed in the lab could have grown up to be President—in fact, he could have been the next African-American President (and I sure hope there will be another one—this time, one who is pro-life).

The President ran on a platform of uniting rather than dividing. He was to usher in a new kind of politics, one that embraced both black and white, Muslim and Christian, male and female. The one thing that does, in fact, unite us is our humanity, a characteristic which was present long before our actual birth.

We were all once embryos. We were the ones we now seek to destroy.

Not only is taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research inherently wrong, it’s actually unnecessary. Just today I received a list of articles compiled by Richard M. Doerflinger, Associate Director of Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The list was entitled, “Recent Advances in Adult Stem Cell Research and Other Alternatives to Embryonic Stem Cell Research/Cloning.”

The list includes some truly amazing headlines—“ Seventeen Months After Cord Blood Transplant – Child Is Free Of Signs Of Cancer”… “Stem Cell Treatment Could Fight AIDS”… “Multiple Sclerosis Reversed in Patients Taking Own Stem Cells”… “Paralysed Rats ‘Cured’ Using Stem Cell Treatment.”

I could go on, but my point is this: science is already healing, thanks to stem cells—treatments that do not demand the sacrifice of a single human embryo. Some of the most menacing diseases of our time may be successfully combated using these therapies.

Taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research is just a biotech industry bailout—the kind of bailout we definitely don’t need during these critical economic times.

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