Snowflake Babies, Pro-Life Congressmen Upset by Obama’s Stem Cell Decision

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

Snowflake Babies, Pro-Life Congressmen Upset by Obama’s Stem Cell Decision

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 9
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Several pro-life members of Congress held a press conference on Monday afternoon with "snowflake babies." These are the children who were formerly stored human embryos at fertility clinics who could have been destroyed for scientific research but have since been adopted.

Congressman Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, orchestrated the press conference.

"Assertions that leftover embryos are better off dead so that their stem cells can be derived is dehumanizing and cheapens human life. There is no such thing as leftover human life," Smith said.

"Ask the snowflake children— cryogenically frozen embryos who were adopted—their lives are precious and priceless," he added.

He knows something about supporting stem cell research.

Smith wrote the law in 2005 authorizing $265 million in federal funding for cord blood and bone marrow adult stem cell programs, but he says Obama’s decision takes away from that funding by diverting federal funds to stem cells that have never helped patients.

The pro-life Congressmen were also joined by Stephen Sprague, who was diagnosed with leukemia. He received an umbilical cord blood transfer in 1997 and is walking proof that cord blood stem cells work.

Smith said Obama’s decision is both immoral and ignores the advances in embryonic alternatives that are doing more to help patients.

“Despite the lack of progress in human embryonic stem cell research and despite all the new and extraordinary medical breakthroughs in the use of adult stem cells, President Obama remains obsessed with killing human embryos for experimentation at taxpayer expense,” Smith said.

“Why does the President persist in the dehumanizing of nascent human life when better alternatives exist? Human embryo-destroying stem cell research is not only unethical, unworkable and unreliable— it is now, demonstrably unnecessary,” Smith added.

Other members of Congress joined Smith in condemning Obama’s decision.

“The President’s executive order comes as a mistake at a time when we have made such great progress in ethical, non-life destroying stem cell research," said Rep. Joe Pitts, a Pennsylvania Republican.

"Many people want to pose this debate as one of moral conscience in opposition to science, but the two do not need to be in conflict. In fact, science has made it possible to treat patients with stem cells that do not require the destruction of human embryos—indeed this is the only research that has lead to the actual treatment of patients," Pitts said.

House Republican Leader John Boehner added that Obama’s decision runs counter to his promise to be a president for all Americans.

"For a third time in his young presidency, the President has rolled back important protections for innocent life, further dividing our nation at a time when we need greater unity to tackle the challenges before us," he said.

Privately funded research on human embryonic stem cells has always been, and remained under the Bush Administration, legal.

Millions of dollars in the public and private sector are spent every year on human embryonic stem cell research, though there have yet to be successful human clinical trials or treatments for patients with life-threatening diseases.

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