GOP Rep. Smith: Obama Promotes Abortion, ‘Turned Back the Clock’ on Research

By Lindsey Ellerson

Mar 9, 2009 3:25pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: On today’s “Politics Live,” Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., offered an interesting response to President Obama’s decision to lift the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research. While Obama is casting his decision as a triumph for science, Smith said that it’s the president who is taking a step backward — by making a decision that minimizes advancements in adult stem cells, which can be harvested without destroying embryos. “I think that President Obama turned back the clock and actually went with what was the common wisdom five, 10 years ago,” Smith told me and David Chalian on today’s “Politics Live,” on ABC NewsNOW. “Unfortunately, for ideological reasons, I believe — and maybe he’s got good faith reasons as well — the President has bought into yesterday’s science.” He went on to list the international advancements in adult stem-cell research. Smith’s comments offer an interesting window into the conservative response to Obama’s move. Rather than emphasize only the stark moral choices involved in experimenting on embryonic stem cells, Smith and other Republicans are minimizing and openly questioning the scientific necessity of such research. As for the morality — Smith, the co-chairman of the House Pro-life Caucus, is calling Obama the “abortion president.” “What he has done, he reversed legislation or a policy for overseas abortion promotion.  He is now, unfortunately . . . will provide federal funding for embryonic stem cell,” Smith said on “Politics Live.” “Again, I’m all for stem cell research, but not for embryonic, and his whole agenda, if you look at what he’s promised, is to promote abortion in every single category of federal funding, including the demise of the Hyde Amendment.” He said that Obama shouldn’t claim, as he did in making today’s announcement, to have avoided the “false choice between sound science and moral values.” “Not when you’re killing embryos to derive their stem cells,” Smith said. “You know, all of those words were very nice words, great sentiments.  I’m all for science, but there have to be ethical guidelines around science because we don’t want to turn unborn children or human embryos into the next human guinea pig, and that’s where I think we’re heading.  This is a slippery slope where a whole group of humanity are seen as expendable and experimentation can be done on them, and we’ve had problems of human experimentation on fetuses and embryos.” Follow The Note on Twitter.

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