March 6, 2009
As we warned you a few weeks ago, President Obama is now set to sign an executive order allowing federal funds to be used for embryonic stem cell research.
Many believe that President Bush’s decision to withhold federal funding for embryonic stem cell research was vindicated when new breakthroughs were made in adult and pluripotent stem cell research. Research on adult stem cells has proved more effective and less controversial since it does not involve the destruction of human embryos.
President Bush signed an executive order on August 9, 2001 that banned the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research with the exception of existing embryos. In other words no new embryos could be created for destruction.
It remains to be seen if Congress will try to make the funding more permanent by urging Congress to pass legislation that would make funding of stem cell research permanent. Rep. Diane DeGette (D-CO) introduced a bill in Congress to this effect on February 4, 2009.