Today's Question: Funding stem-cell research

Thursday, March 12, 2009 | 12:22 p.m. CDT

On Monday, President Barack Obama repealed former President George W. Bush's executive order restricting federal money from going to most forms of stem cell research.

“The fact that President Obama is willing to once again say to the rest of world that we will be the beacon for cures and hope is encouraging,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, Rep. Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) called Obama "the abortion president" and organized an event to protest.

Steven Teitelbaum, a Washington University professor of immunology and pathology, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that "the message here is that science no longer has to be politicized."

But for Missouri, the end of the federal restrictions will not end the state fight over funding. After the Amendment 2 passed in 2006, allowing most forms of stem cell research, there continues to be attempts to legislate funding for stem cell research.

"This is now allowing the use of taxpayer money against the will of many pro-life taxpayers who are opposed to this research," Sam Lee told the Post-Dispatch. Lee is head of the pro-life group Campaign Life Missouri.

Donn Rubin, chairman for the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, which supports embryonic stem cell research, told the Post-Dispatch that the measure was important, but would not end the fight in Missouri.

"While the federal announcement is an important, positive step, patients, their families and others who care about the search for cures must remain alert to ongoing threats at the state level," Rubin said in a written statement.

How do you feel about the end of the executive order on stem cell research? Do you think the renewal of federal funding will hurt attempts to curtail state spending on research?

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Jen Rachow March 13, 2009 | 10:59 a.m.

It should be clarified that it was the ban on embryonic stem cell research that he repealed.

(Report Comment)
Mike Zweifel March 13, 2009 | 11:27 a.m.

Actually, it was just a ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, except for a few lines that were grandfathered in.

This is the 2nd time I have submitted this info to the Missourian, because they have been wrong both times when this has been brought up in their editorials. Get it right! Even editorials/questions of the day need to have facts correct.

(Report Comment)

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