Obama Lifts Ban on Federal Funding of Embryonic Stem Cell Research, But Not on Creation of Human Embryos
lifted the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research
yesterday, but he "intends to avoid the thorniest question in the
debate: whether taxpayer
dollars should be used to experiment on embryos themselves, two senior
administration officials said Sunday," the New York Times reported.
Obama will let Congress decide whether the ban on federal funding for
experiment on embryos will also be overturned. It’s complicated:
The ban, known as the Dickey-Wicker amendment, first became law in
1996, and has been renewed by Congress every year since. It
specifically bans the use of tax dollars to create human embryos — a
practice that is routine in private fertility clinics — or for research
in which embryos are destroyed, discarded or knowingly subjected to
risk of injury.
At first, the ban stood in the way of
taxpayer-financed embryonic stem cell research, because embryos are
destroyed when stem cells are extracted from them. But in August 2001,
in a careful compromise, President Bush opened the door a tiny crack,
by ordering that tax dollars could be used for studies on a small
number of lines, or colonies, of stem cells already extracted from
embryos — so long as federal researchers did not do the extraction
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Kansas Republicans Keep Mum on Sebelius
Why are Republican Kansans
keeping quiet about Gov. Kathleens Sebelius’s nomination to lead the
Department of Health and Human Services? Because getting her out of
the state would nmean that she wouldn’t challenge Sen. Sam Brownback
for his seat in his next election, the Associated Press reports. "Many
of them want the U.S. Senate to confirm Sebelius quickly because her
confirmation is all but certain to eliminate any chance that she’ll run
for Senate in 2010 and to end the most serious threat the GOP faces in
holding Sen. Sam Brownback’s seat.
Ross Douthat Admits Birth Control Is "All You Have Left"
He said it: "If
you start with the premise that neither American abortion law nor
American patterns of sexual behavior can be altered in any significant
way, and you want fewer abortions nonetheless, then trying different
ways to promote the use of birth control "until you find something that
works" is really all you have left." (He disagrees with Saletan that
you can moralize about something you are not willing to regulate or
criminalize, but that’s another less useful story.)
National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers
Katha Pollitt celebrates the National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers.
Drawing Lines in the Sand on IVF
takes a look at the "IVF battlefied" and the "new players and what
they’re after." He looks at a range of positions on patient’s choice,
provider’s rights, access to health care, and industry regulation.
Other News to Note
March 9: USA Today: Obama keeps science, medical ethicists hopping
March 9: Value Voters Project: Public comment available at HHS concerning the removing of conscience protections for health care workers
March 9: Catholic Exchange: Destroying Human Embryos Not Only Unethical, but Unnecessary: Congressmen
March 9: World Magazine: Q&A with Michael Steele
March 9: GOP12: Readers Respond over Palin abortion bombshell
March 9: The Collegian: Conference tackles health care, birth control
March 9: Christian Post: Obama published proposal to rescind conscience rule
March 9: Life News: Studies Find Contraception Makes Women Obese and Newborns Too Thin
March 9: PR Newswire: Women’s Campaign Forum Announces New President