Pro-Life Groups Disappointed Obama Admin Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Lines

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 3, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups Disappointed Obama Admin Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Lines

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 3
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The Obama administration’s announcement yesterday that it will force taxpayers to spend $12 million to fund embryonic stem cell research isn’t going over well with pro-life groups. They say the decision funds the destruction of human life and takes away from successful adult stem cell studies.

Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest noted how, “Despite years of research, human embryonic stem cells have yet to be used in real therapies for patients."

"On the other hand, adult stem cell research– ignored by the Obama administration– has proven effective and is already being used to treat over 70 different diseases and conditions," she added.

"The NIH’s authorization to use human embryonic stem cells expands the destruction of lives at the earliest stage of development and continues the Administration’s practice of ignoring ethical research that is already saving the lives of Americans," she told

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell chimed in with his thoughts and said the decision upset numerous pro-life members of Congress.

“Today’s announcement that the National Institutes of Health is ready to implement the Obama administration’s policy on embryonic stem cell research marks an historic departure from our nation’s longstanding position of neutrality on embryo-destructive research," he said.

“For the very first time in U.S. history, the federal government will now use taxpayer dollars to pay for research that relies on and promotes the destruction of human life at its earliest stages," McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, added.

"Americans may disagree about the morality of embryo-destructive research. But one thing we should all agree on is that taxpayers should not be compelled to pay for it," he concluded.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue also addressed the Obama administration’s decision to ignore the science and moral issues behind ESCR.

"When Barack Obama was in the Illinois State Senate, he fought passionately to deny little babies born alive as a result of a botched abortion the medical care they needed to survive. It is not surprising, then, that it took this ethically challenged man only seven weeks to overturn President Bush’s executive order limiting government money to research on existing embryonic stem-cell lines," he told

"Now the NIH has decided which new lines are ‘appropriate,’ leading those scientists who will get rich from this disturbing decision to jump for joy," he lamented.

"It is true that all the stem lines that were approved involve embryos left over from fertility clinics. But it won’t stop there, and that is because those with the muscle to do something about this issue—beginning with the president—are essentially utilitarians who lack a principled ethical base," he said.

Dr. Bernadine Healy, a former director of the NIH, recently said that embryonic stem-cell research was basically “obsolete.”

Donohue noted that quote and added, "That’s because, in part, there are ways in which scientists can approximate this research by using ethically neutral adult stem cells. But this isn’t good enough for those scientists who are literally salivating over the thought of getting their hands on the stimulus package loot."

"What’s next? Intentionally creating and destroying embryos with more stimulus money? To those who say it doesn’t matter, remember this: every one of us started as an embryo, and it is impossible to do this kind of research without first killing nascent human life," he concluded.

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