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Brave New Administration

March 15, 2009

President Obama eats babies for breakfast – almost literally. As has been clear from his voting record in the Illinois Senate where he voted repeatedly against a law to give babies who have survived abortion attempts medical treatment, Obama is as anti-life as you can get. So a certain number of pro-abortionist policies and personnel choices come as no surprise. For instance, his nominee for head of Human and Health Services, Kathleen “Late-Term Abortion” Sibelius, is just a replacement for Tom “Tax Cheat #2” Daschle. Nothing to get excited about.

A bit odd, though, was Monsieur Obama’s decision to repeal the Mexico City Policy. Apparently he thinks that abortions are such a great thing that they should be part of tax payer funded foreign ‘aid.’ Never mind that 58% of Americans disagree with him according to a USA Today/Gallup poll. Those 58% oughtn’t complain, we learn. After all, the President was so respectful of their views that he signed the order quietly on a Friday afternoon, just the day after the March for Life in Washington DC. (If you haven’t heard about this pro-life demonstration with roughly 300,000 participants, don’t scold yourself. You probably just rely too much on mainstream media outlets that have conveniently ignored the gathering.) That Obama didn’t sign it a day earlier as an in-your-face gesture against those who happen to think that even foreign unborn babies shouldn’t get killed was lauded by some as ‘sensitive.’ Pardon the French Cowboy’s cynicism, but if this is ‘sensitive’ then I’d rather have it ‘in-your-face’ – at least that would be honest. By the way, this was President Obama’s first executive order. Make of this what you will.

While you could argue that the Mexico City repeal was just a standard ‘pro-choice’ decision that any Democratic president would have made, Obama’s stem-cell research hypocrisy is much harder to defend. In fact, it’s indefensible. So Obama rescinds President Bush’s limit on the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Under Monsieur Bush’s policy only stem-cell research on those embryos that have already been destroyed could receive tax payer funding. Under Obama’s policy embryo-destroying research can be subsidised. Obama trumpets that this is the only ‘moral’ decision and basically tells us that if you think otherwise you are an ideologically warped nutjob. His order leaves open the possibility of creating human embryos for the sole purpose of destroying them in research processes. That’s moral values for you.

But that’s not all. You may have heard that there is an alternative to using embryos for stem-cell research. You can take an ordinary skin cell and turn it into a so-called induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC). Those cells have the properties of embryonic stem cells and can be used for stem-cell research in lieu of embryos. Additionally IPSC are cheaper, easier to handle than embryos, and can be created patient specific (meaning that you can derive them from a specific patient’s DNA and be certain that whatever works with this IPSC will work with the patient as well). There are no embryos involved in this method.

Well, the most transparent and ethical administration ever has repealed a piece of legislation that required federal funding for this alternative method. That’s right: the man who vowed to “restore science to its rightful place” has canceled funding for IPSC research and opened funding for any kind of embryo-destroying stem-cell research instead. The former dominates the latter from a financial perspective and even from a scientific perspective. Yet somehow the fact that it doesn’t involve the destruction of human embryos makes it so unattractive to the new president that its government funds are taken away and given to the good, old-fashioned embryo-destroying method. That’s “scientific integrity” for you.

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