Today, a U.S. judge ruled that taxpayer dollars can, in fact, be used to support embryonic stem cell research. President Obama had lifted restrictions on federal funding in 2009 but two scientists sued the federal government claiming that the freeing up of funds "violated a 1996 law that prevented federal money from being used toward any work that harms or destroys embryos." With the legal cloud lifted over government funding, a bioethics debate over stem cells has re-emerged even roping in the White House. Here's what commentators are saying:
This is a victory for patients and research, writes Stephanie Cutter, assistant to the president, on the White House blog: "While we don’t know exactly what stem cell research will yield, scientists believe this research could treat or cure diseases that affect millions of Americans every year. That’s why President Obama has long fought to support responsible stem cell research... For too long, patients and families have suffered from debilitating, incurable diseases and we know that stem cell research offers hope to millions of Americans across the country. President Obama is committed to supporting responsible stem cell research and today’s ruling was another step in the right direction."