Tuesday, March 10

President Lift's Restrictions on Stem Cell Research

Pledging that his administration will “make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology,” President Obama on Monday lifted the Bush administration’s strict limits on human embryonic stem cell research.

At a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Mr. Obama announced that he was issuing an executive order intended to advance the research. He said he hoped Congress would follow with bipartisan legislation that would ease the existing restrictions even more.

The president acknowledged that studying stem cells extracted from human embryos, which are destroyed in the process, is deeply divisive.

“Many thoughtful and decent people are conflicted about, or strongly oppose, this research,” the president said. “I understand their concerns, and we must respect their point of view.”
But Mr. Obama went on to say that the majority of Americans “have come to a consensus that we should pursue this research; that the potential it offers is great, and with proper guidelines and strict oversight the perils can be avoided.”

In making his announcement, Mr. Obama drew a strict line against human cloning, an issue that over the years has become entangled with the debate over human embryonic stem cell research.
He said that he would ensure that his administration “never opens the door” to cloning for human reproduction, adding, “It is dangerous, profoundly wrong and has no place in our society or any society.”

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