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President Obama Discusses His Decision to End Ban on Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research

On March 9, 2009 President Obama signed an executive order expected to set in motion increased stem cell research that supporters believe could uncover cures for serious ailments like diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s and paralysis. In a speech delivered immediately before signing the order, Obama said, “I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research, the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly.” Noting that scientists believe that stem cells “may have the potential to help us understand and possibly cure some of our most devastating diseases and conditions,”

Obama promised that he would “vigorously support scientists who pursue this research.” Although he acknowledged that there has been much debate around stem cell research, the “majority of Americans . . . have come to a consensus that we should pursue this research.” Obama promised that stem cell research will be conducted, “with the urgency to make up for lost ground.” In the speech, Obama urged Congress to also provide further support for such research.

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