Embryonic Stem Cell Research – No More Ban On Taxpayer Funding

The information in this article was gathered through solid, scientific information from sources that are not religiously affiliated or motivated to the best of the writer’s knowledge.

This past week, President Obama fulfilled his promise to sign an Executive Order reversing the ban on taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. This ban, put in place by President Bush, has been under many misconceptions during the years of its existence.

First, Bush’s ban was not a ban on embryonic stem cell research, but on taxpayer’s money being used to fund embryonic stem cell research. This is what President Obama reversed. Although his new plan is not yet in place and no date has been given, it would allow that taxpayers’ money will be used without a chance for conscientious objection.

Second, President Bush did not ban all stem cell research. He banned only embryonic stem cell research.

Maybe like other people, President Obama is laboring under the misunderstanding that embryonic stem cell research is the only way to go. The fact is, discoveries and uses are more often being made with other kinds of stem cells than with embryonic ones.

At least 70 conditions are already being treated with bone marrow and cord blood stem cells rather than embryonic stem cells. “Cord blood stem cells” are taken from umbilical cords which would otherwise be discarded from full term, living babies at birth.

This includes leukemia, MS, spinal cord injuries, Hodgkin’s’ lymphoma and sickle cell anemia; and with successful work on Parkinson’s, Lupus and other diseases.

Adult stem cells can be used on the same person without complications, while embryonic stem cells can be rejected by a patient’s immune system. The National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke reports that neural stem cells can repair the nervous system.

In 2005, Senate Democrats had blocked the Cord Blood Stem Cell Act of 2005 because it did not include funding for embryonic stem cells for cloning research. However, it was eventually released as the Stem Cell Therapeutic Research Act.

A list at the International Cord Blood Society Website shows how many diseases are being successfully treated with cord blood.

Example: Biotechnology Online from the Australian Government sites one Korean woman who was paralyzed, now walking after 20 years due to umbilical cord stem cells.

Amniotic fluid stem cells

In 2007, Nature Biotechnology Journal, MSNBC and other documented reports stated that seven years of research by scientists from the Wake Forest School of Medicine and Harvard University found stem cell lines from amniotic fluid to have as great or greater potential than embryonic stem cells. “Amniotic fluid” is the liquid in the sac which protects a baby in the mother’s womb, before her water breaks.

Stem cells from amniotic fluid can be grown in large quantities, do not require cells from live human embryos, and do not develop tumors as embryonic stem cells have been known to do.

Conclusion

It could be that scientists need taxpayers’ money for embryonic stem cell research because they can’t convince enough private sources to fund it. But with Obama’s executive order, science didn’t win; politics did. It shouldn’t have been a decision between moral values or religion and science. It should simply have been based on ethics.

With embryonic stem cells, ethics are in danger. Doctors could start searching for more reasons to harvest embryos or implant too many because they can make money from it – just as it was discovered in 2000 that money may have been made from selling aborted human baby organs on the black market.

Perhaps President Obama became convinced by lobbyists who were paid to dispute this fact: that human embryos, whether implanted or frozen, either are the beginning of human life, or have a potential for human life. They are vital animal organisms…and even evolutionists and environmentalists should care about those.

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