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For Obama, Ideology and Politics Trump Science and Ethics

1:45 PM, Mar 9, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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The conceit of Obama's decision lifting restrictions on federal funding for embryo-destructive stem-cell research is that science has been freed from the ideological restrictions imposed by George W. Bush. But as Ryan T. Anderson points out, Bill Clinton's own bioethics council declared in 1999:

In our judgment, the derivation of stem cells from embryos remaining following infertility treatments is justifiable only if no less morally problematic alternatives are available for advancing the research.

In November 2007, scientists discovered a morally and scientifically sound alternative--an "embryo-free way to produce genetically matched stem cells"--that Charles Krauthammer called the "Holy Grail" of stem-cell research.

George W. Bush carefully studied the stem-cell debate and waited until August 2001 before he decided on a compromise to allow federal funding for research on 21 lines of embryonic stem cells. If Obama really believes that science should trump ideology, then why did he make this decision so quickly, without forming his own bioethics council to study whether or not it makes sense to subsidize embryo-destructive research if we have a morally sound alternative? If Obama's so "overwhelmed" by economic issues, does any one believe he's seriously studied the new advances in stem-cell research and considered whether it's necessary and wise to fund embryo-destructive research?