Bush allowed federal funds to be spent only on 21 stem-cell lines that existed before his August 2001 decision. President Obama lifted that restriction in 2009. Romney opposes federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research but would not ban the use of stem-cell research on excess embryos in fertility clinics.
"We will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers, doctors and innovators, patients and loved ones have hoped for, and fought for, these past eight years: We will lift the ban on federal funding for promising embryonic-stem-cell research," Obama said.
A federal judge's decision temporarily blocking the Obama administration's rules on funding embryonic-stem-cell research marks the latest twist in a long-running battle over stem-cell policy... The Obama administration declined to comment on the judge's conclusion, and the Justice Department said only that it is studying the opinion.
Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) secretary-designee Kathleen Sebelius, working with NIH acting director Lawrence Tabak, will have four months to set ethical and reporting guidelines governing the research... In an afternoon teleconference, Tabak said that some of the $787 billion stimulus package could be applied to grant awards and that NIH would review where the stem cells would come from... "The executive order takes no position on specific scientific matters, so NIH will undertake a very careful and deliberative look," Tabak said. "The end goal is to ensure responsible and scientifically worthy stem cell research."
President Obama today lifted an eight-year-old ban on embryonic stem cell research, signing an executive order that he called "an important step in advancing the cause of science in America."
"We will vigorously support scientists who pursue this research," Obama said at a signing ceremony in the White House. "And we will aim for America to lead the world in the discoveries it one day may yield."
[Says Obama at the signing of an executive order to allow embryonic research to be federally funded:] "At this moment, the full promise of stem cell research remains unknown, and it should not be overstated. But scientists believe these tiny cells may have the potential to help us understand, and possibly cure, some of our most devastating diseases and conditions... But that potential will not reveal itself on its own. Medical miracles do not happen simply by accident. They result from painstaking and costly research - from years of lonely trial and error, much of which never bears fruit - and from a government willing to support that work."
[Says Obama at the signing of an executive order to allow embryonic research to be federally funded:] "In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values. In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research - and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly."
On March 9, 2009, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order (EO) 13505, entitled Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells... The March 9, 2009 EO changes the way National Institutes of Health (NIH) can support and conduct human stem cell research. The HHS Secretary, through the NIH Director, is required to review existing NIH and other widely-recognized guidelines on human stem cell research and issue new NIH guidance within 120 days of the date of the EO. The National Institutes of Health Guidelines on Human Stem Cell Research were published on July 7, 2009.
Research involving human embryonic stem cells and human non-embryonic stem cells has the potential to lead to better understanding and treatment of many disabling diseases and conditions. Advances over the past decade in this promising scientific field have been encouraging, leading to broad agreement in the scientific community that the research should be supported by Federal funds. For the past 8 years, the authority of the Department of Health and Human Services, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to fund and conduct human embryonic stem cell research has been limited by Presidential actions. The purpose of this order is to remove these limitations on scientific inquiry.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary), through the Director of NIH, may support and conduct responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research, to the extent permitted by law... the Secretary, through the Director of NIH, shall review existing NIH guidance and other widely recognized guidelines on human stem cell research, including provisions establishing appropriate safeguards, and issue new NIH guidance on such research that is consistent with this order. The Secretary, through NIH, shall review and update such guidance periodically, as appropriate.