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Stem Cell Advocates Encouraged by Obama Statement

By Rob Stein
Supporters of expanded federal funding for stem research say they are encouraged by comments President Obama made this week about the controversial subject.

During a private meeting with House Democrats on Thursday, Obama said he will sign an executive order withdrawing limitations on the funding, according to a pool report.

"I guarantee you that we will sign an executive order for stem cells," Obama said in response to a question from Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), according to the report. "God gave us power to make smart decisions, to cure diseases, to alleviate suffering."

Supporters of lifting restrictions on stem cell research had been wondering whether Obama might be wavering, because he had not yet signed an order, and also made some remarks that suggested the he might prefer Congress take up the issue.

On Thursday, Obama explained that he wants to work with the House and Senate to make the order solid, according to the pool report.

"President Obama said that we need to do it soon and we are working with him on the timing," said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.). "I am encouraged by the fact that the president is on the same page as the leadership on this issue. President Obama recognizes the need to reverse former president Bush's restrictions by executive order and the need for legislation. We will work with the White House on that two-pronged strategy."

Lawrence R. Soler of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation urged Obama to take quick action to lift the restrictions. "Signing an executive order now is the single most important action needed to allow scientists to fully explore the promise of stem cell research," he said. "With a stroke of his pen, the President can change the pace of science."

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 6, 2009; 4:39 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
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Comments

Fine. You'll get my vote for Pope.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | February 9, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I've heard that excuse before. "Above your pay grade" too? Maybe there will still be the chance to object when it comes to some class of humans you do care about.

Posted by: JakeD | February 9, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

JakeD:

Sorry I missed the end of that.

I can't add a clear argument anyway. I don't have one at this point.

I have concerns that reach all the way back to the beginning of human tradition and law.

Emotionally speaking, I do not wish to support a program if it disregards the total understanding of the value of human life to achieve progress at any cost. I'm sorry that this issue has become a political football since it involves the basic rights of all human beings - which all of us are bound to respect.

Our choices come with serious conflicts and consequences and I'm just a flawed human hoping for enlightenment every day. Beyond that, I'm afraid I'm not enlightened enough to have an answer.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | February 9, 2009 2:20 AM | Report abuse

JohnQuimby:

Are you still around?

Posted by: JakeD | February 8, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

JRM2:

I will pray for your son.

Posted by: JakeD | February 8, 2009 7:15 AM | Report abuse

" Second, killing human embryos for medical research should be punished as murder.

Posted by: JakeD |"
-----
First of all there are alternatives to using human embryos in stem cell research.

Secondly, my pregnant wife and I were at Stanford Medical Center all day yesterday, we just found out that one of our unborn twins has been diagnosed with a serious heart condition called HSHL or, Hypoplastic Left heart Syndrome. Basically, only half of his heart will work when born and he will not be able to survive on his own unless he goes through a series of open heart surgeries almost as soon as he is delivered. If he survives (hopefully without any brain damage) he will need a heart transplant probably before he is 20.

I have always been Pro-Choice and our choice is to fight for my unborn son's life.

I hope President Barack Obama will support stem cell research, perhaps one day it will save the lives of my son and other children with the same disorder.

And BTW JakeD, you don't seem to mind the perhaps hundreds of thousands of born and unborn Iraqi children who have been killed in this senseless and unjustified war, shame on you I say.

Don't pretend to prop-up moral platitudes for political reasons.

Posted by: JRM2 | February 8, 2009 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Embryos NEVER take a breath. That's how Jews were "discarded"

Posted by: JakeD | February 7, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

re: "Second, killing human embryos for medical research should be punished as murder."
That's your opinion. However, for the last 35 years or so, America has rejected your opinion.

Americans believe in the right of the individual citizen to make choices about parenthood.

No one is killing (never mind "murdering") human beings.

An embryo isn't an individual being until it takes its first breath.

Beyond that, it's not a citizen until it is assigned a social security number by our government. And we don't award citizenship to the beings in women's womb.

Embryos that are going to be discarded are bringing new life to human beings. In my opinion, that's as God wants it.

We all have a right to our opinion.

Until we have universal healthcare, let's take care of the American children who are already suffering in our midst.

And let's let the parents of the embryos that will never become children choose to save the lives of other human beings.

Posted by: freespeak | February 7, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

JakeD-
GW Bush was never legally elected. http://www.gregpalast.com/rolling-stone-its-already-stolen/

Posted by: rooster54 | February 7, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

JohnQuimby:

Thank you.

knucklehead:

Obama is not legally President.

Posted by: JakeD | February 7, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Jake D - President Obama certainly can rescind Bush's executive orders. He already has reversed dozens of them. Elections do matter. Thank goodness.

Posted by: knuckleroad | February 7, 2009 6:36 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see more information on this.

Didn't I see recent science that presents an alternative to using human embryo cells? My first reaction to that report was one of relief.

If alternatives are possible shouldn't we back THEM to provide benefits that don't require us to struggle for progress on such tricky moral ground?

I'd like some clarification on this.
Progress is great but cannibalism bothers me.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | February 7, 2009 2:34 AM | Report abuse

He loves the look of his own words. If a tree falls in the wilderness, does anyone give a damn?

Posted by: imgeorg | February 6, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Rob: when you change a thread to be even more Obama-friendly, can you at least note the time you "updated" it?

Posted by: JakeD | February 6, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Playing off of Gibbs calling Obama a 'Restless Soul' (below), it is ironic that Pearl Jam's next lyric in the song: "Not For You" is ENJOY YOUR YOUTH ...

PLEASE, GIVE LIFE A CHANCE!!!

Posted by: JakeD | February 6, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

First of all, "President" Obama cannot legally rescind Bush's restrictions. Second, killing human embryos for medical research should be punished as murder. God didn't give Hitler the "power" to KILL JEWS even if it was to cure diseases or alleviate suffering. Shame on you, Obama!

Posted by: JakeD | February 6, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

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