Barack Obama's reversal of President Bush's regulations on stem cell research is, any way you look at it, very bad news. For it confirms 1) Obama's immorality (Human embryos are killed in ESCR.); 2) Obama's arrogant unfairness (He will be using your taxes to commit these horrors.); and 3) Obama's cruelty (His policies reward the worst science and ignores the most progressive and promising. Thus, he dooms untold numbers to further suffering and death who might well have been helped had the millions gone, not into the black hole of failed ESCR experiments, but toward the development of yet more cures and treatments found through adult stem cell and direct programming research.)
Responding to Obama's bad news play and seeking to keep the University of Nebraska Medical Center from jumping into the mess our President has created is an organization I've been pleased to work with since its inception, the Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research.
Chip Maxwell, Jessica Moenning, Justin Nabity and others with NCER are busy in the media, on the road, and behind the scenes trying to persuade Nebraskans to do the right thing in this area -- the right thing for the sanctity of human life which just happens to be the best thing too for the creation of truly beneficial treatments and cures.
It is an organization that deserves our help more than ever: prayers, financial contributions, invitations to speak, encouragement, and publicizing to friends, family and churches the excellent, important work they are doing.
You want to help fight Obama's callous, unscientific and very costly policy? Great. Use the information posted here on Vital Signs to fuel your letters to editors, to politicians, to hospital administrators, to pastors urging them to help, and to the folks in control of our universities.
And regarding that last target group, let me defer here to our pro-life colleague, Greg Schleppenbach of the Nebraska Catholic Conference who also serves on the Board of Directors of NCER.
...It apparently wasn't enough for (President Obama) to open up funding for ESCR, for some reason (political I suspect) he felt compelled to also rescind Bush's order requiring funding for "alternative methods" of stem cell research.
No matter what one thinks about Obama's decision to open up more funding for ESCR, to simultaneously reduce funding for ethical alternatives is indefensible. It is particularly troubling given that pioneers of embryonic stem cell and cloning research (e.g. James Thompson and Ian Wilmut) have moved their research enterprises away from ESCR and are now focused on direct reprogramming, a new technique that produces the functional equivalent of embryonic stem cells without producing or destroying human embryos...
In Nebraska, officials from the University of Nebraska Medical Center are gleeful about the President's new policy and plan to expand the ESC research currently conducted at the Med Center. This expansion can be stopped by a vote of the University's Board of Regents. Last Friday, I and a group of pro-life leaders attended the Regents' meeting to urge them to do just that. My statement to the Board is attached. Five of the Board's eight members have expressed some level of opposition to expanding ESCR at the Med Center and so we are hopeful that they will prohibit expansion of ESCR. Those five members are: Howard Hawks and Randy Ferlic from Omaha, Tim Clare and Jim McClurg from Lincoln and Bob Phares from North Platte.
It is critically important that you make your voice heard to the Board of Regents. You can do this very simply by signing an online petition sponsored by the Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research. This website also has a link with all the contact information for the Regents and a map to determine which Regent represents you. So in addition to signing the online petition, please consider sending a quick e-mail to your Regent asking him to "please prohibit any expansion of embryonic stem cell research at UNMC."