Pro-Life Groups: Obama Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research Ignores Science

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

Pro-Life Groups: Obama Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research Ignores Science

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 6
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — President Barack Obama liked to bash President Bush during the presidential election for claiming that he was ignoring science. But pro-life groups say Obama’s expected decision on Monday to fund embryonic stem cell research ignores science and they say it has yet to help patients.

As reported, Obama is expected to sign an executive order on Monday that would overturn the limits President Bush put in place to prevent funding the science because it requires the destruction of human life.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council tells the Obama decision ignores that science is moving away from embryonic stem cell research and towards alternatives that are both morally and ethically stronger.

"President Obama’s policy change is especially troubling given the significant adult stem cell advances that are being used to treat patients now without harming or destroying human embryos," he said.

"Despite the significant advances using adult stem cells to treat patients, and new techniques to create stem cells from any patient, President Obama will choose to direct taxpayer’s money to experiments that represent the poorest stem cell science," he added.

"We should be increasing funding for adult stem cell treatments, which have been used to treat patients for over 70 diseases and conditions, and we should fund the historic achievements in reprogramming ordinary skin cells into embryonic-like stem cells without compromising ethics by destroying life," Perkins continues.

Perkins called funding adult stem cells and cells made from direct reprogramming "not only to the best science, but also to the surest common ground."

House Republican Leader John Boehner also weighed in on the Obama decision to fund unproven embryonic stem cell research and agreed he is ignoring the science.

“Advancements in science and research have moved faster than the debates among politicians in Washington," he told "And breakthroughs announced in recent years confirm that the full potential of stem cell research can be realized without the destruction of living human embryos."

Boehner said Republicans and pro-life advocates have always supported stem cell research and noted the irony is that Obama’s decision could move money away from the most promising variety.

"This issue is not about whether federal dollars should fund stem cell research. There is little debate about that, and Republicans enthusiastically support adult, cord blood, and pluripotent stem cell research that have shown so much promise in recent years," he said.

Meanwhile, Brian Burch, the head of the Catholic pro-life group Fidelis and its popular CatholicVote web site, says Obama is increasing his anti-life record.

"In just one week, President Obama nominated the most pro-abortion governor in the country as his Health Secretary, proposed to rescind an important conscience clause for health care workers, and now has announced that he will sign an Executive Order compelling taxpayers to support unproven research that holds no scientific promise and destroys unborn life, he said.

Burch told that Obama just completed the political equivalent of the hockey hat trick.

He also said Obama’s actions make it clear that Catholic apologists like Catholics United can no longer say Obama is pro-life with a straight face.

"This week’s actions puts to shame Catholics like Doug Kmiec who shrilled for Barack Obama," he said.

"The decisions made this week by Barack Obama, coupled with his announcement in January to spend foreign aid dollars on abortion organizations, puts to rest any doubt: Barack Obama is most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history," Burch lamented.

Perkins also said Obama continues to show disrespect to pro-life Americans.

He said Obama doesn’t understand that "taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for experiments that require the destruction of human life."

"Today’s news that President Obama will open the door to direct taxpayer funds for embryonic stem cell research that encourages the destruction of human embryos is a slap in the face to Americans who believe in the dignity of all human life," he told

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