Stem Cell Coverage – Day 2

USA Today ran a Q&A piece citing researchers and policy experts:

Q: What dangers do opponents see in Obama’s action?

A: The National Right to Life Committee says the order “opens door to human embryo farms,” charging that researchers will start mass-harvesting embryos to create cell lines. Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., echoed these concerns and, in a statement, called the moves “divisive” amid larger concerns about the economy.

The San Francisco Chronicle picked up on the NRLC release:

“It is a sad day when the federal government will fund research that exploits living members of the human species as raw material for research,” said Douglas Johnson, a spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee. The organization said Obama’s order places the country on a slippery slope toward the rise of “embryo farms” to create human embryos for the sole purpose of research.

The Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown cites NRLC in her story about Obama’s order:

But the anti-abortion community — a group which Obama courted during his campaign — made clear its anger.

“It is a sad day when the federal government will fund research that exploits living members of the human species as raw material for research,” said Douglas Johnson, a spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee, who added that the move puts the country on a “very steep, very slippery slope” toward cloning.

Alex Wayne at CQToday:

But Democrats are approaching any changes to Dickey-Wicker cautiously, as it is potentially an even more explosive flash point than embryonic stem cell research. The National Right to Life Committee on Monday warned against any changes to the amendment, raising the specter of a future in which human embryos are purposely created for research.

“Any member of Congress who votes for legislation to repeal this law is voting to allow federal funding of human embryo farms, created through the use of human cloning,” said Douglas Johnson, a spokesman for the group.

NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson appeared on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition with Julie Rovner yesterday morning.  You can listen to the story here and click on the “Listen Now” button in the top center of the page.

From One News Now:

Douglas Johnson, spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee, was asked about the president’s statement that he would oppose reproductive cloning.
 
“This is the kind of code that’s intended to mislead the public,” the pro-life leader states. “…[W]hat he’s saying is that he doesn’t want human clones to be brought to birth; but he’s quite conspicuously not saying that he doesn’t want to create them in the first place.”
 
Johnson believes the president’s action violates current law. “…[T]he president is basically giving a wink to the National Institutes of Health to try to find a way to do that, and they’re also giving a signal to Congress that they should try to repeal the law which prohibits it.”
 
And that, Johnson believes, is due to pressure from the bio-tech industry. He fears the end result will be creation of human embryo farms, which will likely lead to millions of dollars in profit.

Other news outlets that picked up the NRLC statement in their coverage of Obama’s executive orders include:

Buffalo NewsBuffalo, New York

Columbus Dispatch – Columbus, Ohio

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