May 11, 2009
To set the record straight, George W. Bush was the first president to propose federal funding for stem cell research. As Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson said in August of 2004, “President Bush provided — for the first time — federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. The president’s unprecedented decision allows for federal funding of research using existing stem cell lines that were derived before Aug. 9, 2001, with no limits on private funding of research.”
Not exactly an anti-science position, is it?
To the extent that limitations were placed on federal funding, it was because of the ethics involved, not the science. Acting on the recommendation of a blue-ribbon commission that looked at the issue for some time, the president decided it would be unethical — in the moral sense, not the legal one — to act as those who believe embryonic stem cell research holds the cure to everything that ails us would have had him do.
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