On stem cell research, II, updated
Adding to my July 28 post, here are the facts on stem cell research:
- Stem-cell research is legal in the USA, and is presently being funded through private companies and the government.
- Government funding started after President Bush‘s speech of August 9, 2001, which lifted the ban on research. The Clinton administration had prohibited federal funding on research to support the creation of human embryos for research purposes and directed the National Institutes of Health not to allocate resources for such research.
- In fiscal year 2003, federal spending on embryonic stem cell research was $24.8 million. The Bush administration also provided $190.7 million for human non-embryonic stem cell research.
- Aside from embryonic stem cells, other sources of stem cells are umbilical cord, placenta, bone marrow, adult and animal tissues.
- Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs), present in the bone marrow and precursors to all blood cells, are currently the only type of stem cells commonly used for therapy.
- France, Germany, Austria, Spain, and Ireland completely ban the destruction of human embryos to create stem cell lines.
- No country in the world has approved human cloning so far*.
Kerry has used the word ban to describe Pres. Bush’s actions. In yesterday’s article, the NYT and the AP place Pres. & Mrs. Bush in the worst possible light: First Lady Bashes Kerry Stem Cell Stance, and directly say
First lady Laura Bush, defending her husband’s policy on embryonic stem cell research, accuses proponents of overstating the potential for medical breakthroughs and says it is “ridiculous” for John Kerry to claim the president has banned the research.
. . . Her remarks came on the third anniversary of Bush’s decision to limit federal funding of embryonic stem cell research to the 78 stem cell lines in existence on Aug. 9, 2001.
when, as stated above, August 9 is the date federal funds were authorized for this purpose for the first time, by Pres. Bush. Mrs. Bush is right in saying that the Democrats are overstating the potential for medical breakthroughs. Starting with the misleading Ron Reagan speech (“those cells — with your DNA — [that would be] injected into your brain” can’t come from embryonic stem cells since you are not an embryo and no other embryo will have your DNA unless it’s your clone, Ron), the Democrats are purposely lying. As Charles Krauthammer said,
Well that’s precisely right and it is part of the unbelievable demagoguery of the Democrats on this issue. Look, I personally support expansion of some of the federal funding of stem cell research. But you’re absolutely right, the ban that they speak about is simply a lie. It is legal in the country of course, it always has been private universities are working hard on it. Secondly, there was a ban on the federal funding right through the Clinton years. They never spent a penny on stem cells. The person who lifted the ban was President Bush when he made his speech in August of 2001. So, the federal, right now the federal government is spending $25 million on stem cell research. So, to talk about a ban I think is simply to mislead Americans deliberately. (Fox News’ “Fox News Live,” 8/9/04)
False charges, false premises. That’s the road the Democrats have taken.
*Update: No sooner I wrote this post that news from the UK show that British scientists said on Wednesday they had received permission to clone human embryos for medical research, thought to be the first such license given in Europe. My apologies.