The Bush policy doesn't ban stem-cell research; it merely says that taxpayers shouldn't have to finance the destruction of embryos that they consider to be human life.Just when I thought I couldn't be more surprised at being misinformed by the mainstream media, the Wall Street Journal pops in to explain that the basic tenets of the stem cell controversy are vastly overblown.
The debate over stem-cell research is once again being portrayed as a kind of moral Armageddon: a choice between federal funding and none, between scientific progress and religious zealotry. We hate to spoil the political drama, but maybe the system has stumbled toward a compromise that is more sensible than the debate makes it appear.
… Recall what the President's August 2001 decision actually did. It allowed federal funding for research on existing stem-cell lines where, he said, "the life and death decision has already been made." But it forbade funding for research into new lines, which entailed both the creation and destruction of human embryos.
Critically, Mr. Bush's decision applied only to federal funding; it did not impinge on the rights of individual researchers, universities, hospitals, private labs, public corporations or states to conduct embryonic research. In other words, the President did not "ban" anything. He simply refused to allow taxpayer money to be spent on a practice millions of Americans consider morally offensive.