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Should I Have Mentioned That Bush Dared to Call Human Embryos "Human Life?"

Posted Mar 10 2009 4:21pm
I am applauded and criticized for my comments about President Obama's rescission of the Bush "alternative method" executive order over at Belief Net --from the version of the criticism I posted on the First Things blog, which contained slightly different language than I put here on the same topic. Thus, David Gibson wrote:
Why didn't Obama say more about the promise of adult stem cells--and do something to promote that promise? He said that the administration will support "promising research of all kinds, including groundbreaking work to convert ordinary human cells into ones that resemble embryonic stem cells." And yet his executive order yesterday also revoked Executive Order 13435 of June 20, 2007, which provided federal backing for promising adult stem cell research. At First Things, Wesley J. Smith slams this dumb rejection of easily occupied common ground.

ADDENDUM: As a commenter rightly noted in the combox, Obama had to reverse Bush's EO 13435 because of language tacked on to it about embryos as human life etc. (A nice little time bomb left behind.) And Wesley Smith could have and should have noted that. But Obama could easily have included Bush's language, or his own, regarding funding and support for adult stem cell research promotion. Easy, and would have been important in concrete and symbolic terms.
I beg your pardon? Human embryos are human life! That's basic biology. And the post is about alternative methods of obtaining pluripotent stem cells, not adult stem cells. (I know this gets confusing.)

Here's the offending clause from the Bush EO:
(d) human embryos and fetuses, as living members of the human species, are not raw materials to be exploited or commodities to be bought and sold.
So, Obama "had" to rescind the order because the foregoing clause was factually correct? And, to add a point, is also wholly consistent with current federal statutory law? Gee, I'm really sorry I didn't mention that.

But Gibson is also correct: If telling the biological truth in an EO so seared the delicate Obama sensibility, he could have immediately reissued the EO without the offending facts, and publicized it as proof he is trying to cross the cultural divides that rend this country. But, of course, he didn't do that because he's not.
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