Skip to comments.Obama OKs Embyro Research Monday, Bans it Wednesday
Posted on 03/12/2009 7:08:07 PM PDT by kellynla
President Barack Obama signed a law that explicitly 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 only two days after he lifted President Bushs executive order banning federal funding of stem cell research that requires the killing of new human embryos.
The law banning any federal funding of research that kills or risks injury to embryos was included in the language of the $410-billion omnibus appropriation bill that President Obama signed Wednesday. Known as the Dickey-Wicker amendment, the language has been included in the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services every fiscal year since 1996.
Found in Section 509 of the omnibus bill, the federal funding ban not only prohibits the government from providing tax dollars to research that kills or risks injury to a human embryo, it also provides a comprehensive definition of human embryo that includes embryos created in a laboratory through cloning, in vitro fertilization and other means.
For the purposes of this section, says the law Obama signed, 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.)
At a widely publicized White House ceremony on Monday, President Obama signed an executive order lifting the executive order that President Bush signed in 2001 that prohibited federal funding of stem cell research that required the killing of new embryos. Bushs 2001 order allowed federal funding of research involving embryonic stem cell lines that had already been created from embryos that had already been destroyed.
For the past 8 years, the authority of the Department of Health and Human Services, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to fund and conduct human embryonic stem cell research has been limited by Presidential actions, said the order that President Obama signed Monday. The purpose of this order is to remove these limitations on scientific inquiry, to expand NIH support for the exploration of human stem cell research, and in so doing to enhance the contribution of America's scientists to important new discoveries and new therapies for the benefit of humankind.
The order went on to say: The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary), through the Director of NIH, may support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research, to the extent permitted by law.
Close observers of the stem cell issue and congressional advocates of federal funding for the type of stem-cell research that requires destroying human embryos were well aware of the Dickey-Wicker amendment, and understood that it would pose a legal obstacle to federal funding of this research even if President Obama issued an executive order allowing federal funding for such research.
Rep. Diana DeGette (D.-Colo.) sponsored the House version of a bill--vetoed by President Bush--that would have legalized federal funding of stem cell research that destroys so-called spare human embryos taken from in vitro fertilization clinics. On Monday, she told The New York Times she had already approached what she called several pro-life Democrats about the possibility of repealing Dickey-Wicker.
Dickey-Wicker is 13 years old now, and I think we need to review these policies,'' The Times quoted DeGette as saying. Ive already talked to several pro-life Democrats about Dickey-Wicker, and they seemed open to the concept of reversing the policy if we could show that it was necessary to foster this research.
Rep. Mike Castle (R.-Del.), who co-sponsored Rep. DeGettes bill, similarly stated this week that Dickey-Wicker should be revisited.
"Certainly, the Dickey-Wicker amendment . . . is something we need to look at," Castle told Congressional Quarterly Today on Monday. "That was passed in 1996, before we realized the full potential of embryonic stem cell research. Some researchers are telling us now that that needs to be reversed."
Douglas Johnson, spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee, said in a press release Monday that President Obamas executive order lifting the ban on federal funding for embryo-destroying stem cell research set the stage for an effort to repeal Dickey-Wicker.
This sets the stage for an attack on the Dickey-Wicker law, which since 1995 has been a provision of the annual appropriations bills for federal health programs, said Johnson. Any member of Congress who votes for legislation to repeal this law is voting to allow federal funding of human embryo farms, created through the use of human cloning.
In the remarks he made Monday when announcing the executive order, President Obama said he wanted to close the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction but not for other purposes.
And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, profoundly wrong and has no place in our society, or any society, said Obama.
A bill sponsored in the last Congress by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R- Utah) would specifically permit human embryos to be cloned and kept alive for no more than 14 days so that their stem cells could be extracted for research. This procedure is currently prohibited by Dickey-Wicker.
On Tuesday morning, The New York Times carried an editorial calling on Congress to repeal Dickey-Wicker.
Other important embryonic research is still being hobbled by the so-called Dickey-Wicker amendment, The Times editorialized. The amendment, which is regularly attached to appropriations bills for the Department of Health and Human Services, prohibits the use of federal funds to support scientific work that involves the destruction of human embryos (as happens when stem cells are extracted) or the creation of embryos for research purposes.
Congress should follow Mr. Obama's lead and lift this prohibition so such important work can benefit from an infusion of federal dollars, The Times said.
Later that day, President Obama signed H.R. 1105, the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, which includes the Dickey-Wicker language. Unless Congress passes and President Obama signs new legislation to repeal Dickey-Wicker, it will now be the law of the land at least through September 30, when this fiscal year ends.
The text of Section 509 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, reads as follows:
SEC. 509. (a) 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 greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero under 45 CFR 46.204(b) and section 498(b) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 289g(b)). (b) For purposes of this section, the term human embryo or embryos includes any organism, not protected as a human subject under 45 CFR 46 as of the date of the enactment of this Act, that is derived by fertilization, parthenogenesis, cloning, or any other means from one or more human gametes or human diploid cells.
Without the appropriate news coverage I assume?
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Obama Says A Baby Is A Punishment
Color me confused.
The Lord works in mysterious ways, all praise to Him!
What a dork. And I mean it in the proper use of the word.
Me, too. Totally. Really bad story that should have, but didn’t, help the reader to get what each provision was intended to accomplish.
So the Liberal Messiah was in favor of embryonic stem cell research before He was against it. Duplicitous thinking which would make John Kerry proud.
The way I read this, some congressmen slipped anti-embryonic stem cell provisions into the omnibus bill and *O* signed it without realizing what he was signing.
So now, federal funding for embryonic stem cell research is illegal...
... until September.
No, color The President confused. Or clueless. Maybe both.
d0rkBama fowls out - clueless is as clueless does...
That is hilarious!
I'm glad they got Obama on this but what else has been slid through in all this legislation.......that we have to have to survive?
It's time they started voting on a bill, not a omnibus, we won here but I fear we loose way too many times.
This administration is dangerously unfocused and irrational. My fear is that there is a method behind all of these inconsistencies. Throw down some smoke, and they’ll move where we can’t see ‘em.
The list, ping
For the first time in 8 years I feel proud of my country, ... just as soon as I get off the floor from laughing that is.
hes nuts!!!! but thank God
He’ll sign anything they put in front of him. He’ll say anything they want him to say.