Embryonic Stem Cells: Obama's First, Official Bi-partisan Move?

Liberals were singing President Obama's praises last month when he overturned Bush-era restrictions on federal funds for embryonic stem-cell research.  Unfortunately for the left, this move has been post ceded with restrictive regulation on how these cells may be used – a relatively welcome game-changer for most conservatives.

While destruction of human life for scientific benefit is surely reprehensible, the newly minted restrictions are paramount in that they represent Obama's first attempt to remain somewhat neutral on a domestic issue of importance.

From the relatively unpopular bailout, which was pushed into law despite Republican discontent, to incessant acts of misgovernment, this administration has taken somewhat of an anti-conservative stance on a cornucopia of social and political issues.  And while I still remain opposed to tax-payer funded embryonic stem cell research, the results of the administration's stance could be playing out in a much more detrimental way.  According to FOX News,

“Draft guidelines released by the National Institutes of Health reflect rules with broad congressional support, excluding more controversial sources such as cells derived from embryos created just for experiments.”

Despite Obama's overt attempt at leftist appeasement through the overturning of President Bush's executive order, it appears the president is considering the rally cries of the opposing party on this issue.

Perhaps this newfound openness to issues associated with the right to life movement is reflective of the synergy many conservatives are creating in their attempt to rally together against those who would seek to pursue looser restrictions on abortion (as if the words “restriction” and “abortion” exist conversantly in Obama's legislative agenda). 

It is also quite possible that Obama recognizes his need to respect a massive portion of the populace's rejection to his anti-life stances.  Either way, this is somewhat of a step in the right direction.

Some scientists are, no doubt, disappointed.  While many had hoped for no restrictions on taxpayer-funded embryonic research, the National Institutes of Health is requiring that all cells used must come from “...clinic embryos that otherwise would be thrown away.”

Aside from Obama's first, and thus far only, compromise, the most ironic portion of the new regulatory system is as follows (as per FOX News):

“The guidelines also demand that the woman or couple who donate the original embryo give proper informed consent. There are other options for such donors, such as donating the embryo to another infertile woman, and all must be explained. The donation must be voluntary, without pressure from scientists.”

These regulations are surely a step in the right direction.  With many claiming that embryonic stem cells are a hopeless endeavor, and with scientists finding more useful and less controversial methods of using and extracting stem cells (from amniotic fluid, by adapting adult stem cells, from umbilical chords, and without harming a fetus), one wonders why Democrats are behind the times in their incessant urge to pursue this method.

Still, it is encouraging to note that the government is not deregulating to the point of no return.  While I am hopeful that common sense and logic lead the president and Congressional Democrats toward the realization of more optimal and viable options, I'll take this compromise and pray for more.

And as ironic as it stands, I must congratulate President Obama for making his first attempt at moderate governance.  Now, let’s hope he does the same in other sociopolitical realms.