Congressional Lawmakers Admit NIH Guidelines a Human Cloning Bait and Switch

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 20, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Congressional Lawmakers Admit NIH Guidelines a Human Cloning Bait and Switch

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 20
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Congressional lawmakers appear to be admitting that a leading pro-life group was right when it said the new NIH guidelines to implement President Barack Obama’s embryonic stem cell research executive order amounted to a bait and switch.

The NIH guidelines describe the process that scientists must use to get federal funding to be able to destroy human embryos supposedly left over from fertility clinics for their stem cells for research.

The National Right to Life Committee called the guidelines a "bait-and-switch" strategy, under which Democratic leaders in Congress will suddenly bring up new legislation that they will claim codifies the NIH action.

In reality, NRLC says the bill will overturn a federal law prohibiting the specific creation and destruction, possibly through human cloning, of human beings for the express purpose of killing them to conduct scientific experiments.

According to a report in Congressional Quarterly on Friday, Kristofer Eisenla, a representative of Rep. Diana, one of the prime sponsors of the bill that concerns Right to Life, "did not refute the committee’s suggestion."

“Details of the legislation are still being discussed,” he said.

In fact, DeGette, in a press release issued with her co-sponsor, Rep. Michael Castle, responding to the new NIH guidelines, talked about how her bill would supposedly merely codify the NIH guidelines. She said she is "planning to move forward with legislation that will promote all forms of ethical stem cell research."

Although the bill hasn’t been written, Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for National Right to Life, told the intent appears clear.

"It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see that DeGette and Castle are writing a bill that will authorize NIH to funding human cloning to produce embryos for research," he said.

Johnson previously discussed the Obama-DeGette tactic with

"Some may characterize the guidelines issued today as narrowly crafted, since NIH will not initially fund research involving human embryos who were created specifically to be used in research. This seeming restraint is part of an incremental strategy intended to desensitize the public to the concept of killing human embryos for research purposes," he explained.

He says the DeGette bill will go much further by "authori[zing] further expansions involving the deliberate creation of human embryos for use in research, by human cloning and other methods."

The National Right to Life Committee detailed the strategy in a letter it sent to members of Congress in March outlining its objections to the DeGette bill and its Senate companion version.

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