President Obama lifted restrictions on funding for human embryonic stem cell research this morning and issued a presidential memorandum aimed at insulating scientific decisions across the federal government from political influence.
Obama took care to emphasize that the order would not “open the door” to allow human cloning, which he said is “dangerous, profoundly wrong and has no place in our society, or any society.” But the president said stem cell research has enormous potential to further understanding and treatment of many devastating diseases and conditions. America, he said, should play a leading role in exploring the stem-cell research frontier.
Image by p!o via Flickr
“For the first time, taxpayer money will be used to kill human beings in the embryonic state in order to harvest stem cells,” wrote the Osservatore Romano newspaper, which underlined how this is the result of new guidelines “after President Barack Obama overturned a decision by the Bush administration banning publically funded stem cell research”.
The Vatican newspaper cited the website of the Episcopal Conference of the United States which said “this is a new chapter in the division between biomedical research and its necessary ethical basis, the respect for human life at all stages.”
Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday admonished visiting US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic who advocates abortion rights, that “all Catholics” should uphold the Church’s teachings on life.
Benedict “took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death,” the Vatican said in a statement.
These “enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists as well as those responsible for the common good of society to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of