President Barack Obama on Monday reversed the Bush administration’s restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, saying scientists must be allowed to do their work backed by federal dollars because “medical miracles do not happen simply by accident.”
“At this moment, the full promise of stem cell research remains unknown, and it should not be overstated,” Obama said Monday. “But scientists believe these tiny cells may have the potential to help us understand, and possibly cure, some of our most devastating diseases and conditions.”
Obama lifted the eight year old limits on research put in place by President George W. Bush, who said no federal funding could be used for research on new stem cell lines, but only those that existed in 2001.
First of all, very few issues were more distorted by President Bush's opponents than the issue of federal funding for EMBRYONIC stem cell research. First, opponents often simply said that President Bush was against stem cell research. That he wasn't. In fact, President Bush wasn't even against embryonic stem cell research. He wasn't even against federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. He merely wanted to limit the funding the embryonic stem cell lines that were already created. The reason being was that the creation of new embryonic stem cells simply for research meant that the embryos had to be created to be destroyed. The president saw this as the destruction of life for research, and he didn't believe that federal tax Dollars should be used for such research. Furthermore, while President Bush didn't allow any federal Dollars for embryonic stem cell research, he didn't ban such experimentation from finding private funds.
The president's opponents successfully painted him as an extremist on this issue when in fact the issue is of great complexity. There must be a medium between science and morality. Without it, things like human cloning would also be federally funded. Maybe we should also fund experiments where dogs are electricuted to see how their central nervous system responds.
Those that have no problem with federal funding for embryonic stem cell research see it this way because to them the embryo is not a life. The embryo has no worth. Scientists can play God with an embryo because the embryo has no more worth than a piece of paper, some lint, or any other inanimate object. In fact though, it is beyond dispute that the embryo is a life. To prove this, I leave it up to Mike Huckabee.
Mike Huckabee was prepared when a voter asked him today about embryonic stem-cell research. He pulled from his pocket a photo of a girl, given to him by a woman at a campaign event.
“This little girl was born from a frozen embryo, frozen for four years, two-cell embryo,” he said. She “became this precious little girl.” He said the girl’s mother told him, “When you think about embryos and stem cells just remember my daughter.”
For me at least, when we are deciding issues of life, I would err on the side of life. Sure, people of good faith can differ on whether or not an embryo is a life, but to me at least, I would err on the side of life. When science respects morality, it finds scientific methods that aren't morally reprehensible. In this case, the federal government now funds and sanctions the destruction of life. It should come as no surprise that in the eight years when this was banned, scientists came up with alternatives to embryonic stem cell research. That's because the president then forced morality and as a result, scientists were forced to look for ways that didn't challenge that morality. This reversal also means that all of those alternatives aren't nearly as relevant.
It is a slippery slope when we allow science to trump morality. If the destruction of an embryo is of small consequence in the name of science, then what other moral issue should be sacrificed in the name of science? These are all questions dismissed by proponents of federal funding for embryonic stem cell reseach. They are dismissed because to them, the embryo is no life at all, and that is what is really scary to those that oppose this decision.