Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stupak's weak defense

At Slate, John Dickerson interviewed Congressman Bart Stupak about the president's executive order and Stupak's view of it. Stupak argues,
"Some people say this piece of paper isn't worth it, but I would remind them that in 2007, when George W. Bush signed the executive order to prevent stem-cell research, these groups that are criticizing it, they applauded it, they welcomed it; and now President Obama's going to sign an executive order once again protecting life and somehow it's not worth the paper it's written on. You can't have it both ways."

Both Ramesh Ponnuru and Yuval Levin aren't buying Stupak's arguments.

Levin writes,
This argument makes no sense whatsoever. I was part of the team that produced Bush’s executive order, the text of which you can read here. The order was in no way designed to “prevent stem-cell research,” or to change an existing law, modify the treatment of the life question in federal law, or anything else that Stupak is suggesting President Obama's order will do. It merely instructed the National Institutes of Health to encourage the exploration of potential alternatives to embryo-destructive research.

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