Saturday, March 14, 2009

Obama Signs Law Banning Federal Embryo Research Two Days After Signing Executive Order to OK It

So, is it ignorance (did the president not know about the Dickey-Wicker amendment) or is he playing politics again- (throwing red-meat to teh left but hiding behind the law) Anybody like toventure a guess? While it appears that this is some good news at first glance (continuing a sound Bush policy) one thing for sure is you probably won't see this news as a headline anytime soon... - On Wednesday, only two days after he lifted President Bush’s executive order banning federal funding of stem cell research that requires the destruction of human embryos, President Barack Obama signed a law that explicilty bans federal funding of any "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.

"The provision was buried in the 465-page omnibus appropriations bill that Obama signed Wednesday. Known as the Dickey-Wicker amendment, it has been included in the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services every fiscal year since 1996.

The amendment says, in part: "None of the funds made available in this Act may be used for—(1) the creation of a human embryo or embryos for research purposes; or (2) research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death." (more)

Found in Section 509 of Title V of the omnibus bill (at page 280 of the 465-page document), the federal funding ban not only prohibits the government from providing tax dollars to support research that kills or risks injury to a human embryo, it also mandates that the government use an all-inclusive definition of “human embryo” that encompasses any nascent human life from the moment that life comes into being, even if created in a laboratory through cloning, in vitro fertilization or any other means.

“For the purposes of this section,” says the law, “the term ‘human embryo or embryos’ includes any organism … that is derived by fertilization, parthenogenesis, cloning, or any other means from one or more human gametes or human diploid cells.” (The entire verbatim text of Section 509 of the omnibus spending law is reprinted at the bottom of this article.)

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