March 6th, 2009
05:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama to sign stem cell executive order Monday

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Obama will ease restrictions on some stem cell research on Monday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN has learned that President Obama is planning to sign at least one executive order on Monday that will overturn Bush-era policy that limited the types of embryonic stem cell research that can receive federal tax dollars, according to administration officials familiar with the deliberations.

Obama's move will be hailed by advocates for those suffering from a host of diseases ranging from diabetes to Parkinson's disease, who believe that an expansion of stem cell research could leads to all kinds of medical progress and help eradicate various debilitating diseases. But many conservatives object to the destruction of human embryos because they contend it ends a human life.

The officials said the administration is planning a Monday event at the White House in which Obama will overturn an executive order signed by former President George W. Bush in August 2001 that barred the National Institutes of Health from funding research on embryonic stem cells beyond using 60 cell lines that existed at the time he signed that order.

(Updated after the jump with reaction from conservatives and GOP congressional leaders)

Bush also twice vetoed legislation - in July 2006 and June 2007 - that would have expanded federally funded embryonic stem cell research. At the time, Bush said that because of scientific advances researchers could conduct groundbreaking research without destroying human embryos.

Bush's moves led to Democratic charges that he had put politics over science.

UPDATE: Tony Perkins of the conservative Family Research Council accused the White House of leaking the details out on Friday night so that it gets little attention, declaring the move “a slap in the face to Americans who believe in the dignity of all human life.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner also blasted the news. “Advancements in science and research have moved faster than the debates among politicians in Washington, D.C., and breakthroughs announced in recent years confirm the full potential of stem cell research can be realized without the destruction of living human embryos,” said the Ohio Republican.

Filed under: President Obama • Stem Cell Research
soundoff (288 Responses)
  1. From bad to worse. Much worse.

    Thank you, Herr Obama, for moving us further down the road to eugenics, natural selection pseudo-science and all those other 'scientific and rational' disasters sold as great breakthroughs that will save mankind. Yet again you prove to me why you are taking the country from bad to worse. Do the research on stem cell reseacrh. Much of it has taken place already elsewhere WITH NO CLEAR BENEFIT. But why should that get in the way of a good political move, right?

    The blind worship I see in several of these postings makes me laugh. Those of you who seem to favor 'reason over religion' couldn't be more blind in your worship of your new god in the whitehouse. I'd much rather worship a god than a man. (Check out Germany and the former Soviet Union to see what can happen when men are elevated to god-like status by their blind followers.)

    March 6, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  2. Workndude

    Too bad you people can't give this guy a chance.

    The Rubs are praying he fails so they can be elected next time. They could care less about the country, they only seem to care about their party, the party that is now run by Rash Limbo. Boy if that doesn't tell you something, I don't know what will. Garbage in, garbage out....

    March 6, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  3. Ben in Dallas

    To those who are tired and think advancing science degrades human life. I grew up before there was a polio vacine. Your anti science attitudes would leave hundreds of thousands of young people in iron lungs or dead, or crippled.

    Going back in time what about whooping cough, measels, diptheria, maleria, colera, oh, and the plague. I often wonder how these people got through our educational system with all these gaps in their education. Talk about human dignity!

    March 6, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  4. SamSays

    The "Tired American" does not seem to understand the very essence of medicine, IS science... Boy, says something about the state of education in this country!!!

    March 6, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. Jason from Nashville

    To those whom wish to know about stem cell research can look up (that's the National Institute of Health, BTW) I think the biggest issue is that people are so uninformed of the potential uses of stem cell research. Please, educate yourself and form a logical or at least reasonable opinion on the subject.

    March 6, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  6. tennisguypitt

    Excellent! I'm all for medical research that can save millions of lives!

    I applaud President Obama for his sound judgement!

    March 6, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  7. JS

    Australia Stem Cell laboratories have offered numerous reports saying the promise of Stem Cell research is in the adult stem cell not the embryonic cell. However, the Democrats want to make morality an issue and reverse an outdated piece of legislation for the sake of making a point.

    March 6, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  8. KLS

    This is wonderful news for my sister-in-law and two good friends who are suffering from MS. Also, for my brother who has a back injury and a cousin who has Parkinson's.

    The stem cells that are going to be used will be destroyed anyway so why not help living breathing people who are dealing daily with pain? Why would anyone what someone to suffer needlessly?

    If the "parents" of the stem cells want them, then let they should keep them or donate them to another family. If they have no interest in the stem cells then why can't they be used to help millions instead of being tossed in the trash.

    March 6, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  9. German,Irish American

    Bush never stopped this type of embryonic stem cell research. It was always legal and could be done with private funding. The only difference is Obama is spending more of YOUR TAXPAYERS money to fund this research. Change for bigger government we can believe in.

    March 6, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  10. S Callahan

    I am one of those 'religious ' people...yet I support stem cell research..
    My belief is that God , the Creator gives one's mind the knowledge to do things beyond what we know now (he is very is made up of math/science).. Some in science can't be so vain, that just shows ignorance.. As humans with that knowledge comes responsiblity be ethical and humble about it. It's my belief that God is a healer and uses all sorts of tools (people , places, things, and prayer) to help move the process along. Why fight progress? Scripture tells us to pray for increased knowledge...does that mean we should not advance?....quite the opposite...there is so much we have yet to learn, to discover.
    There are way too many in Science that miss out on the wonders of God with their disregard of who he really is and the gifts he gives to us , just as much as some belivers do. That is the sad part.

    March 6, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  11. spoa

    Boo Stem Cell Reasearch!

    March 7, 2009 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  12. DonnieJ

    How about if those who oppose it won't be given any new treatments that come out of it? They won't have the "blood" of embryonic "babies" on their hands, and we will be more quickly rid of their idiotic ilk. It's a win-win!

    March 7, 2009 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  13. Kent

    Come on guys! Everyone knows the only Christian way to dispose of a human live is with a good old made-in-America firearm. After all, Smith & Wesson makes no profit if these embryos don't grow up to buy guns and slaughter their families.

    March 7, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
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