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March 9, 2009

Obama Overturns Bush's Policy on Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

President Obama just lifted the Bush administration’s limits on human embryonic stem cell research.

Obama also said that the government will never open the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. "It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society," he said.

Yesterday, Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, debated Art Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, over what Charmaine calls "the research of the past."

Around 60 percent of Americans agree with using stem cells derived from human embryos for medical research and 61 percent consider such research morally acceptable, according to Gallup. However, the question of the poll can impact the responses. Gallup asked whether it was morally acceptable or morally wrong to use stem cells from human embryos for medical research.

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life asked respondents: All in all, which is more important, conducting stem cell research that might results in new cures OR not destroying the potential life of human embryos involved in this research. About 50 percent said conducting research was more important and 35 percent said not destroying embryos was more important. Only 31 percent of evangelicals favored research while 57 percent favored not destroying embryos.

Comments

Thanks for the video and the facts, Sarah.

Let go of any thought you had that the President is a Christian. He has proven otherwise, with a vengeance.

Finally, after almost a decade of limiting taxpayer money for research president Barrack Obama has lifted the restrictions on federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research today.
Back in 2001 George W. Bush restricted funding stem cell research to only a few stem cells that had been created prior to Aug. 9, 2001. This decision was based on politics and religion rather than science. Since then the rest of the world has taken a huge step forward in understanding and bringing commercial products closer to the market than the U.S.

For those unaware embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they have the ability to form into any cell type that make up the human body. Scientists across the globe (except the U.S.) hope to utilize them to regenerate brain cells lost in Parkinson's, repairing spinal cord injuries as well as treating diabetes, cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and many more defects. Stem cells also help in understanding the human development and growth of diseases. If scientists can map the growth of a disease they will have a greater chance at forming treatments.

Let's think of how many Americans are suffering from the aforementioned ailments and what this research can do for them. I'm sure everyone reading this knows someone important to them that is affected by one of these maladies. Research in the U.S.has not progressed since earlier this decade, cures are a very long time away and lets not even discuss the approval requirement by the FDA. At least this can be seen as a huge step forward to join the rest of the world at bringing about cures that could help millions of people including you and I some day. For those interested in learning more about this topic please visit: stemcells

Human embryo sacrifice for the sake of scientific advancement is like the human race being raped by idols of human inquisitiveness. It is neither the only or necessarily the best approach to solving medical challenges for which we all desire to find cures. Obama conflated "majority" and "consensus," obscured "facts" and "ideology," to justify his approval of pursuing the potential possible in human embryo research. He spoke of a "false dichotomy between sound science and moral values" but didn't even hint at what the moral values in conflict involved might be. This issue reminds me of his willingness to approve the abortive killing of viable human life during "partial birth." The moral insensitivity apparent in both cases is apparent. My spirit is chilled to the bone (to mix metaphors). I'm inclined to think I'm being called back to the protest lines of political activism as we confront these evils as followers of Christ.
Richard W. Wilson / St. Louis, MO, USA

Is anyone else as scared of Obama/Rahm as I am?

First....I have heard even liberal commentators note that many strides were being made with adult stem cells and that much progress was being made through that. It is not my understanding that the U.S. has fallen behind others in terms of scientific research. One article actually stated that we needed to get out of the way and "let science go where it needs to go". What a foolish comment. Science is a gift from God. However, used without restraint and without moral ethics, it is chilling. This comes the same week that the Boston Globe printed the review of a book written by a Bioethics Professor at Princeton, in which he notes that he thinks we should have a thirty day period after birth to consider whether a child should be aborted or not because, "What's so special about birth itself as a line of demarcation". (that is not an actual quote but as near as I can remember and does give the exact sense of what he said. The continual devaluation of human life is frightening and I think this is just one more step (although a big one) along the way.

You're probably talking about Peter Singer. Singer's rigorous utilitarianism is used by him to explore the ethics of minimizing suffering and injustice in people and animals. Singer may well overvalue the human capacity for preferences, to experience pain and pleasure, but he doesn't undervalue humanity itself.

I don't quite "get" him, but he's not a villain. The fact is, many demarcations in our lives are somewhat arbitrary. 18 to vote? 21 to buy alcohol? Age of consent? Age allowed to marry? They've all changed over the years, even in my lifetime.

Pro-life activists always seem to claim: "Life begins at the moment of conception." That's not what I was taught in Freshman biology. Life began ages ago. There is no "moment" of conception. One is making arbitrary demarcations and definitions that don't match the fluid like processes of reproduction.

So, the claims of absolutes by pro-life activists just ring false. I may see lines as well, but to me, they are fuzzy, not sharp, moving and blurry, like in a photograph taken with a long shutter speed.

People sometimes have to make very difficult decisions based somewhat on utilitarian projections as well as religious, cultural, societal understandings. When you don't allow humans to make difficult decisions, and forbidding legal abortions is taking away people's decisions and substituting mandates instead, are you devaluing human life? Certainly, you're devaluing mine...but in the larger scheme of things, that may not be such a bad thing at all...or it could be a very bad thing indeed.

Former Abortionist Bernard Nathanson Exposes Lies of American Pro-Abortion Movement
"We were guilty of massive deception" says Nathanson about abortion industry
At one time Nathanson was deeply entrenched in the American pro-abortion movement, having co-founded the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and overseen 75,000 abortions as director of an abortion clinic.
"We claimed that between five and ten thousand women a year died of botched abortions," he said. "The actual figure was closer to 200 to 300 and we also claimed that there were a million illegal abortions a year in the United States and the actual figure was close to 200,000. So, we were guilty of massive deception."

"I mean as a founding member and chairman of the medical committee, I accepted the figures which came from a biostatistician named Christopher Tietze and he and his wife passed along these figures to us at NARAL. We were in no position to validate them or not, so we accepted them in the interests of higher standards, or at least higher objectives," he explained.

Nathanson's conversion to the pro-life movement was sparked by the advent of the ultrasound machine in the early 1970s. He related how his heart was moved to realize that a fetus is in fact a human being after he watched an unborn baby recoil from a vacuum abortion device before being sucked from its mother's womb.

Nathanson titled the video of this incident "The Silent Scream" and began using it to spread the pro-life message. Planned Parenthood, however, took a page out of NARAL's book when the abortion giant spread rumors that the video was a fake. Nathanson confirmed that these rumors, like the tactics of NARAL, were lies.

"Planned Parenthood was responsible for that," he said. "But it was not faked and what we did in order to validate it was to go to Dr. Ian Donald in Scotland, who is the father of ultra-sound, the inventor of ultra-sound and he looked at the film and he swore an affidavit that everything was as it was shown and there was no doctoring or manipulation or any changes in the speed or anything else."

Nathanson then addressed the fact that abortion is now used as a form of birth control - a result of another pro-abortion fabrication.

"One of the myths that was fed to the public through the media was that legalizing abortion would only mean that abortions taking place illegally, would be done legally. But in fact, abortion is now being used primary as a method of birth control all over the world and in the USA too."

You are all ignorant.