President Obama today [March 9th, 2009] fulfilled his campaign promise to lift federal-funding restrictions on research involving the destruction of human embryos. He couldnâ€™t have done so at a more inappropriate time, for just last week scientists made headlines again announcing yet another breakthrough in what is known as â€œinduced pluripotent stem-cellâ€ technology. Following up on the initial breakthrough in November 2007 that allowed scientists to produce the biological equivalent of embryonic stem cells without creating, using, or destroying any human embryos, scientists have continued to refine their methods. Last weekâ€™s announcement was the latest in a long string of developments. If Obama truly wants to find honorable compromises that the entire nation can accept in good conscience and even endorse, he should be promoting these alternative sources.
During the ceremony this morning, Obama announced that by signing this executive order â€œwe will lift the ban on federal funding for promising embryonic stem cell research.â€ Of course there never was a ban on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research. President Bush was, in fact, the first president in history to fund embryonic stem cell research. The compromise Bush reached, however, put restrictions in place that prevented the further destruction of human embryos. It is these restrictions protecting human life that Obama has lifted.
[HT: James Grant]