Monday, March 9, 2009

Obama Lifts Stem Cell Research Ban


President Obama signed an executive order for an increase in federal money for stem cell research, saying no scientific data would be "distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda."

Obama took several subliminal shots at the Bush administration's previous faith-based decision ban on stem cell research.

"Promoting science isn't just about providing resources, it is also about protecting free and open inquiry," Obama said. "It is about letting scientists like those here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it's inconvenient especially when it's inconvenient. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology."

"Today we will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers, doctors and innovators, patients and loved ones have hoped for, and fought for, these past eight years," said Obama in his speech on Monday afternoon. "We will vigorously support scientists who pursue this research. And we will aim for America to lead the world in the discoveries it one day may yield."

For those not in the know, stem cells are part of a human embryo, and have the ability to renew themselves and transform into many different types of specialized cells. Further stem cell research could lead to effective treatments for Alzheimer's and spinal-cord related injuries. While the use of embryonic stem cells remains controversial, some progress has been made with adult stem cells. Although pro-life advocates maintain stem cell research would be a destruction of human life, many embryos left over from in vitro treatments are still currently being stored, even though their shelf life has long ended.

Forbes' magazine's Lisa Lalotta said this change in policy, while effective, is only the first step.

"Lifting the ban is only one step forward. There is still limited access to stem cell lines and no access to new lines -- these changes can only be made by Congress and Obama has yet to say whether he plans to pursue this issue."

1 comment:

ToddyEnglish said...

I love this. I am so very thankful that reason and rationality (Obama)has finally triumphed over ignorance and stupidity.
If Stem Cell research works this could be one of the greatest scientific break throughs since cloning.
I really don't understand the idea that stem cell research is the equivalent of murder. As far as I'm concerned the unused stem cells are being used to help another human being live. To me that represents a "culture of life."
Sorry, I just can't get over how stupid George Bush was(still is).

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