Obama To End Harmful Stem Cell Ban
Above is an embryonic stem cell. It is not a person. It does not have consciousness. It has no feelings. But it can help save lives and work toward cures for Parkinson’s disease, spinal injuries and Alzheimer’s. And, on Monday President Obama will lift the 8 year ban that has stood in the way of scientific progress.
“This action is both welcome and overdue,” added Dr. Philip Pizzo, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine and a governing board member of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, in the statement. “This vote of confidence from President Obama in the promise of embryonic stem cell research validates and extends CIRM’s mission to help millions of people suffering from currently incurable medical conditions. It is also a powerful signal that advances in medical research must be pursued even in times of economic difficulty.”
Unlike adult cells, embryonic stem cells can supposedly grow into any type of cell in the body and continually divide to replenish other cells. But expect fierce opposition from Christian conservatives like Matt Bartle, a Missouri state senator, who believes “a human embryo deserves legal protection.” And then there’s Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey who has branded Obama “the abortion president.” Smith, contradicting almost every research scientist on this issues, says, “Why does the president persist in the dehumanizing of nascent human life when better alternatives exist? Human embryo-destroying stem cell research is not only unethical, unworkable and unreliable- it is now, demonstrably unnecessary.”
But ask those whose loved ones suffer from the diseases this research might help. Nancy Reagan, for example, opposed Bush’s ban on embryonic stem cell research, and was a leading voice asking Republicans to restore funding in 2005. Finally, though, we have an administration where science trumps ideology.Click here for reuse options!
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