Funding ESCR, But Not Really



Not sure what to make of this, but can’t say I’m unhappy.  This is just proof of political games being played by the Obama Administration.  President Obama evidently wanted credit for expanding federal funding of Embryonic Stem Cell Research (funding was allowed for existing lines), but doesn’t actually want to pay for that research.

Which is fine with me as a taxpayer.

According to CNS News:

On Wednesday, only two days after he lifted President Bush’s executive order banning federal funding of stem cell research that requires the destruction of human embryos, President Barack Obama signed a law that explicilty bans federal funding of any “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.”

The provision was buried in the 465-page omnibus appropriations bill that Obama signed Wednesday.  Known as the Dickey-Wicker amendment, it has been included in the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services every fiscal year since 1996.

The amendment says, in part: “None of the funds made available in this Act may be used for—(1) the creation of a human embryo or embryos for research purposes; or (2) research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.”

Found in Section 509 of Title V of the omnibus bill (at page 280 of the 465-page document), the federal funding ban not only prohibits the government from providing tax dollars to support research that kills or risks injury to a human embryo, it also mandates that the government use an all-inclusive definition of “human embryo” that encompasses any nascent human life from the moment that life comes into being, even if created in a laboratory through cloning, in vitro fertilization or any other means.

I find this somewhat humorous because now he put himself in a position where he is going to get hammered by conservatives and liberals.

HT: Ft. Hard Knox

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  • http://diabolicomix.wordpress.com Strabo

    I don't get it Shane, it seems like the perfect compromise to me (which, I suppose, makes nobody happy…).

    According to this law researchers can't get taxpayer dollars to fund anything that will destroy a human embryo, exactly what you wanted in your last post. And at the same time federal funds can go t research that funds research on newly developed stem cell lines. These news stem cell lines can be derived from private funding, and then in turn these stem cells (which are not embryos) are used for federally funded without violating any federal ban.

    This might not be the most efficient process, but it keeps the taxpayer money from going to the thing you find ethically objectionable, Shane, the destruction of embryos.

    So now we've federal money medical research on new stem cell lines, why is this important, when we've already got embryonic stem cell lines in existence? Well the trouble is we only have about 13 lines in existence, and the federal ban prohibited research funding on any of the new and promising varieties of stem cells lines.

    Federal funding for research on new embryonic stem cell lines is important. So it's a win for medical research.

    Taxpayers aren't responsible for purportedly ethically dubious research. So it's it's also a win for you, Shane.

    So why aren't you happy?

  • http://caffeinatedthoughts.com Shane Vander Hart

    I'm not unhappy, I'm just suspicious.

  • http://diabolicomix.wordpress.com Strabo

    Semper vigilis, Shane!