On Monday, President Obama signed an executive order reversing President Bush’s order to not use any new lines of embryonic stem cells for research with federal money. New lines could still be tested using state funds and through private companies, but federal funds could not be used.
As expected, the pro-life movement was against this turn of events, and some characterized Pres. Obama as the Abortion President.
What happened only two days later on the same topic has not, however, gotten as much publicity.
On Wednesday, President Obama signed the Omnibus spending bill to keep government operational, lectured the Congress not to put pork in spending bills (just as he was signing a big slab of it), and reversed himself—I have to think unknowingly:
President Barack Obama signed a law that explicilty bans federal funding of any “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.”
The provision was buried in the 465-page omnibus appropriations bill that Obama signed Wednesday. Known as the Dickey-Wicker amendment, it has been included in the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services every fiscal year since 1996.
The amendment says, in part: “None of the funds made available in this Act may be used for—(1) the creation of a human embryo or embryos for research purposes; or (2) research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.”
Found in Section 509 of Title V of the omnibus bill (at page 280 of the 465-page document), the federal funding ban not only prohibits the government from providing tax dollars to support research that kills or risks injury to a human embryo, it also mandates that the government use an all-inclusive definition of “human embryo” that encompasses any nascent human life from the moment that life comes into being, even if created in a laboratory through cloning, in vitro fertilization or any other means.
Call it God or coincidence, I find it pretty amusing that this amendment got passed basically thwarting his executive order not two days later, shedding light both on the issue, its divisiveness, and the lack of transparency in legislation coming out of our government.