WASHINGTON (BP)--President Obama has promised Democratic lawmakers he will issue an executive order reversing President Bush's ban on federal funds for stem cell research that destroys human embryos.
"I guarantee you that we will sign an executive order for stem cells," the president told Democrats in the House of Representatives attending a retreat Feb. 5 in Williamsburg, Va. The Washington Times reported Obama's comments, citing three sources in the closed-door meeting who asked to remain anonymous.
While Obama's support for government funding of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) is well known, a question had developed since his Jan. 20 inauguration about whether he would actually use an executive order. There seemed to be some indication he might decline that method of rescinding the Bush policy and allow Congress to deal with the issue.
At the Democratic retreat, Obama endorsed congressional action as well, telling the representatives a legislative measure is needed to prevent a future president from reversing the policy again, according to The Times. Obama said he would coordinate the timing of his order's release with Congress.
"President Obama's promise is extremely disappointing but not surprising," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. "Once again, as in the case of overturning the Mexico City Policy, President Obama's action forces Americans who find such research both barbaric and repugnant to subsidize it with their tax money.
"Reduced to its basics, killing the tiniest human beings in their embryonic stage of development for the possible medical benefits of older and more developed human beings is quite simply high-tech cannibalism in which we devour our own young for the sole purpose of treating other human beings who are merely fortunate enough to be older and able to defend themselves in a way the tiniest human beings are not," Land told Baptist Press. Read More