Monday’s surprise decision by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth to grant an injunction stopping federal funding of embryonic stem cell research was based on the likelihood that the those challenging the Administration’s policy would succeed in their lawsuit because the policy did violate federal law. Federal law blocks funding of ESCR if the embryos are destroyed. He wrote in his ruling that ESCR is “research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed.” The Administration has decided to appeal that ruling, and Senator Tom Harkin (D- Bahamas Iowa) wants a hearing (that seems to be the answer to everything in the Beltway).
Rasmussen just released a poll today showing that the ruling actually reflects the mainstream (for an unexpected change). 57% oppose the President on this, this is major swing since March of 2009 when 52% agreed with President Obama’s decision.
Interesting. Only 24% believe it is morally wrong, and 69% still believe it is somewhat likely that ESCR will result in cures but yet an overwhelming majority is against taxpayer funding of this type of research. Only 55% of those who self-identify as pro-choice agree with the federal funding of ESCR. I’m among the 18% that doesn’t believe it will yield results. Why? Because it hasn’t already, but other types of stem cell research have borne fruit. People complain that there hasn’t been results because of the lack of federal funding, but as with anything in the free market – it would receive funding if it was thought to be a good investment.
So this looks like it is mainly a pocketbook decision than a moral one unfortunately, and largely based, I think, on the recession and the necessity to curb government spending. Fiscally I’m glad people recognize this, nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government tasked with funding this research. Ethically, I’m disturbed that only 52% of those who are pro-life see the moral problem with ESCR.
They should understand that with any type of medical research there should be boundaries and respect for human life, even at earliest stage of development.