FYI: President Obama announced today that he will overturn the Bush policy on embryonic stem cells, thus allowing federal taxpayer dollars to be used for medical research using embryonic stem cells. It should be noted that Bush’s limitation on the use of tax dollars applied only to the 21 stem cell lines that been been produced before his decision.
It should also be noted that “research on adult stem cells has proved more effective and less controversial since it does not involve the destruction of human embryos,” from the Susan B. Anthony List blurb on this.
Dr. James A. Thomson, one of the pioneers of stem cell research, has said,
“If human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough. I thought long and hard about whether I would do it.”
Considering not only that adult stem cell research has proved more effective, but that Dr. Thomson has since discovered “a new way to turn ordinary human skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells without ever using a human embryo,” it seems to me that this is a purely political decision by Obama. It is a way to appease a certain constituency, while at the same time taking a political slap at his presidential predecessor.
Make of it what you will.
UPDATE: Two days after signing the executive order “ok”ing it, Obama signed legislation banning embryonic stem cell research. Apparently, the provision was buried in the 465-page omnibus appropriations bill. My take? Obama didn’t have a clue that the Dickey-Wicker amendment was in the massive bill, or else why would he have made a fanfare of reversing Bush’s ban on the research just two days prior? Things like this really make me wonder if Obama has a competent handle on the office he holds.