When asked by Pastor Rick Warren "at what point does a baby get human rights?" Then-candidate Barack Obama responded that the question was "above his pay grade." Today, Obama increased his pay grade, stating that human embryos are definitely before the point at which a baby gets human rights -- or even a modicum of ethical consideration.
Under the Bush administration, the federal government "forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values," Obama said. "In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research -- and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly."
He noted that "many thoughtful and decent people are conflicted about, or strongly oppose, this research," and he said he understands their concerns and respects their views.
Ah yes, the "I respect your views (and go jump in a lake)," attitude of President Obama is on display again. As Adam Keiper notes, it's Obama presenting a "false choice," not former President George W. Bush.
Let us be candid. When President Bush announced his stem-cell policy eight years ago, biomedical research was proceeding in a direction that many Americans consider morally repugnant: toward the routine creation and destruction of nascent human life for the purpose of experimentation. Rather than present the nation with a “false choice,” President Bush offered a compromise — a policy that allowed research to proceed, and even offered federal funding, but that did not permit taxpayer dollars to support or incentivize the destruction of human embryos. In undoing that policy and in encouraging Congress to fund such research, it is President Obama who is offering the nation a false choice. President Bush believed that science and ethics could proceed hand in hand; President Obama’s policy implies that you can only have cures or only protect human embryos, not both.
Nearly eight years have passed since President Bush first permitted limited federal funding for embryonic stem cell research (it was not a ban as opponents have characterized it, as though federal funds were flowing to the research before Bush acted) and in that time ESC research has repeatedly foundered. At the same time, research into reprogramming adult stem cells -- to the point at which they are virtually indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells -- has been successful.
Why continue failed scientific research that many people consider to be immoral when it has also been proven to be unnecessary? The answer can be found in the abortion politics the Supreme Court has prevented from being settled in a democratic fashion. The pro-abortion rights crowd must maintain that every stage of human development up until birth is worthless -- a mere "clump of cells." Otherwise, there would be a public interest in regulating abortion. So, we get a President Obama -- who has promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act which would overturn any and all restrictions on abortion -- pushing unnecessary science and thumbing his nose at those with serious moral objections to the practice.
This is a pro-abortion decision, not a pro-science one.