Pro-Life Group Calls Obama Embryonic Stem Cell
Research Guidelines a Human Cloning Bait and Switch

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 17, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- One prominent pro-life group doesn't have much good to say about the new guidelines the NIH put out on Friday to implement his decision to overturn the limits President Bush put in place on embryonic stem cell research funding.

The National Right to Life Committee said the Obama administration is pushing step-by-step the creation and harvesting of human embryos for research.

On Friday, the administration of President Barack Obama, through the National Institutes of Health, released the proposed guidelines for Obama's decision to open the door to federal funding of research on supposedly leftover human embryos at fertility clinics.

But NRLC officials tell LifeNews.com the guidelines throw the door open much further than the mainstream media is reporting.

"The Obama Administration today slides further down the slippery slope of exploiting non-consenting members of the human species -- human embryos," Douglas Johnson, Right to Life's legislative director, told LifeNews.com.

"Some may characterize the guidelines issued today as narrowly crafted, since NIH will not initially fund research involving human embryos who were created specifically to be used in research. This seeming restraint is part of an incremental strategy intended to desensitize the public to the concept of killing human embryos for research purposes," he explained.

Johnson calls the guidelines part of a "bait-and-switch" strategy, under which Democratic leaders in Congress will suddenly bring up new legislation that they will claim codifies today's NIH action.

Instead, he says the bill, sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette in the House of Representatives, will go much further by "authori[zing] further expansions involving the deliberate creation of human embryos for use in research, by human cloning and other methods."

The National Right to Life Committee detailed the strategy in a letter it sent to members of Congress in March outlining its objections to the DeGette bill and its Senate companion version.

Johnson also told LifeNews.com that he doesn't agree with the NIH guidelines' characterization of the Dickey-Wicker amendment, the law that prohibits the purposeful creation and destruction of human embryos for scientific research, which the DeGette bill would overturn.

"NIH today badly understates the scope of the longstanding law that actually prohibits funding of research that creates or harms human embryos, including all creation of human embryos by cloning," he said.

Johnson says the NIH guidelines refer to the Dickey-Wicker amendment as prohibiting federal funding of the "derivation" of stem cells from human embryos -- the term being a euphemism for "killing a human embryo by cutting out its stem cells."

"It is true that federal funding of such activity is prohibited by the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, but the prohibition in the Dickey-Wicker Amendment is much broader: It prohibits federal funding of creating human embryos by any method, explicitly including human cloning, or any 'research in which' human embryos are harmed in any way," he said.

The pro-life movement is expecting a monumental battle over the DeGette bill in Congress and any efforts to promote what it calls "fetal farming" -- the purposeful creation of human beings only to have them destroyed to promote dubious scientific studies