By Kenneth R. Bazinet
Daily News Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON – President Obama reversed a Bush administration order and vowed Monday to "vigorously support" stem cell research that scientists hope will lead to cures for deadly ailments like diabetes and Parkinson's disease.
"We will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers, doctors and innovators, patients and loved ones have hoped for and fought for these past eight years. We will lift the ban on federal funding for promising embryonic stem cell research," Obama said to cheers at the White House.
Fulfilling a campaign pledge, Obama signed an executive order ending President Bush’s ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
"At this moment the full promise of stem cell research remains unknown, and it should not be overstated. But scientist believe these tiny cells may have the potential to help us understand and possibly cure some of our most devastating diseases and conditions," Obama told scientists and supporters.
Pro-life advocates oppose the research because it involves the use of human embryos, and they fear it could ultimately lead to human cloning. They, along with Bush, instead support the study of pluripotent stem cells, which does not use or destroy human embryos.
"There are exciting and numerous advances with adult stem cell research, including peer-reviewed successful human patient treatments for conditions including type-1 diabetes, spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s disease,” said Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), who opposes embryonic stem cell research. "It only makes sense to think of the patients first and focus federal dollars in these more promising areas, which do not cause serious moral concerns for many Americans."