May 30, 2024

Obama delays lifting of ban on stem cell funding

Advocates are impatient

"As president, I will lift the current administration’s ban on federal funding of research on embryonic stem cell lines created after August 9, 2001 through executive order," wrote Democrat candidate Barack Obama on August 30, 2008. The new president’s promise was clear and advocates for the use of human embryonic stem cells expected him to act quickly. "We are hopeful that removing restrictions on funding for stem cells will be one of the first acts of the Obama presidency," said Harvard’s George Daley shortly after the election.

But nothing has happened. Instead President Obama has signalled that he is waiting for action from Congress. The Coalition for Medical Research, a patient advocacy group, wrote to the President on February 9, pleading with him not to delay. "There is no more time to wait," wrote its president, Amy Comstock Rick. ~ Chicago Tribune, Feb 16