President Obama’s executive order permitting funding of embryonic stem cell research is not hope and change but smoke and mirrors.

Today President Obama fulfilled another campaign promise and overturned the Bush policy which restricted federal funding on destructive embryonic stem cell research. Surrounded by those who had long rejected the Bush policy as “anti-science”, the President stated his order would lift that restriction and allow the U.S. to lead the world in scientific discovery, which he hoped would possibly, someday, maybe not in our lifetime, lead to cures for sick people.

Sadly, advances in adult stem cell research, including umbilical cord blood stem cells along with new advances in iPSC research remained unmentioned in the President’s speech today. And given even in today’s news, the story of the little girls who’s blindness was treated using her own cord blood stem cells, this executive order continues to obscure the facts and realities of where the real cures and promise are happening now.

Jennifer Lahl, national director of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network said, “The President missed a huge opportunity today, to send a message to the world, that he really is serious about changing the politics in Washington . While he acknowledged the ethical and moral difference dividing people in these stem cell debates, he could have pointed to the mounting evidence that embryonic stem cell research has not only moral problems but is not necessary if we are serious about cures and treatments for sick patients.”

The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network rejects the President’s decision and will continue in our efforts toward advancing ethical research which provides cures for people but never at the demise of early human life.