President Barack Obama Deceives Media, Public on Opposition to Human Cloning

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 10, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Barack Obama Deceives Media, Public on Opposition to Human Cloning

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 10
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — While most media reports were focused on President Barack Obama’s decision to roll back protections limiting taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research, little attention was paid to Obama’s ingenuous method of supposedly opposing human cloning.

During his speech in the East Room of the White House, Obama told supporters and the media that human cloning is "dangerous, profoundly wrong."

Obama said he would never open the door to using human cloning for reproductive purposes. However, he said nothing of using human cloning in scientific research — which is already taking place in some parts of the country.

A Drudge Report headline on Monday appeared to be the only recognition of Obama’s remarks. "Obama: No Clones!" it screamed, but the headline painted only half the story.

Jack Smith, who writes the Missouri-based Catholic Key blog, understands the deception when it comes to cloning. He saw it firsthand when Missouri officials supported Amendment 2, which allowed so-called therapeutic cloning and how supporters of the measure denied that cloning would occur.

Smith says the pro-Amendment 2 campaign "was buoyed by deceitful ballot language by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan."

"At the ballot box, Carnahan’s ‘Fair Ballot Language’ told voters that Amendment 2 will ‘ban human cloning or attempted cloning,’" he explained. "She got away with this lie by mental reservation and a compliant press corps."

"Amendment 2 did ban reproductive cloning, but legalized cloning for medical research. That is, as long as a clone is destroyed in the course of medical research and not brought to term, it is legal under Amendment 2. Hence, the opposition rightly called it the ‘clone and kill’ initiative," Smith continued.

He says President Barack Obama is engaging in the same kind of deception with the American public — in contrast with President Bush, who called for a complete ban on human cloning.

"While expanding federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, the president utilized the same deceitful language employed so successfully in Missouri," he said.

"Why not condemn cloning full stop instead of modifying the term ‘for human reproduction,’" Smith asks. "In Missouri, at least, that distinction is employed to authorize cloning for medical research."

And it appears, for President Obama, that he backs human cloning for unproven research as well.

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