Ken Connor Takes Aim at Obama's Stem-Cell Research Policies
Ken Connor, former head of the Family Research Council and a candidate in the Republican gubernatorial primary back in 1994 who is now with the Center for a Just Society, took aim at the Obama administration’s policy on stem-cell research and praised a federal injunction issued earlier in the week blocking it in an essay released on Friday.
“During his inaugural address, President Obama pledged to ‘restore science to its rightful place.’ The comment was interpreted at the time as a not-so-subtle jab at his predecessor's policy approach to the issue of embryonic stem-cell research (ESCR), and in March, 2009, Mr. Obama confirmed this interpretation with an executive order overturning restrictions on federally-funded ESCR put in place by former President Bush,” wrote Connor. “But not everyone agrees with the president's vision of science's ‘rightful place,‘ particularly when his pursuit of this vision involves undermining the rule of law and disregarding the sanctity of human life. Not surprisingly, therefore, the president's executive order was challenged in court, and this week opponents of ESCR have a reason to celebrate. On Aug. 23, federal Judge Royce Lamberth issued a temporary injunction against the president's order, after concluding that it violates the plain language of the current federal law banning taxpayer funding of the destruction of human embryos for research purposes.
“The Obama administration, of course, wasted no time in announcing its plans to appeal the ruling,” continued Connor. “President Obama and his supporters in the scientific community argue that any impediment to ESCR is necessarily an impediment to the fight against terrible diseases and medical conditions. The potential of ESCR, they insist, is limitless and unprecedented. Failure to pursue this technology vigorously, then, would be to condemn countless individuals to needless suffering and death. Dig a little deeper, however, and it becomes immediately apparent that this position is not one based upon any kind of scientific evidence, but rather upon an ideological conviction that views the pursuit of scientific knowledge as a sacrosanct endeavor that should not be made subject to pedestrian ethical or moral constraints of any kind, period.
“Is this the philosophy of science that President Obama had in mind when he spoke of science's ‘proper place'? Is this why his executive order discontinued funding for alternatives to ESCR, alternatives that have proven more successful than the embryonic approach without any of the ethical controversy?” asked Connor “Is this why he felt justified in manipulating the power of his office to override standing federal law? It's clear from the president's words and actions on this issue that the answer to all of the above is a resounding ‘yes.'
“Unfortunately for Mr. Obama and his boutique constituency of scientific ‘experts,’ the American people have very strong views when it comes to issues dealing with the sanctity of human life, be it ESCR or abortion or euthanasia,” added Connor. “And, thankfully, there are still some members of the judiciary who have very strong views when it comes to abuse of executive authority. These two factors, when combined, are likely to prove difficult to overcome, even for someone of Obama's notable political gifts. He just might have gotten away with it if it weren't for that pesky judge! Kudos to Judge Lamberth for exposing the president's executive order for what it really is: a thinly-veiled, ideologically motivated attempt at an end run around the Constitution.”