Obama de­funds ‘snowflake ba­bies’

Pro­gram aids in em­bryo adop­tion

The Washington Times Daily - - Front Page - BY CH­ERYL WETZSTEIN

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s only pro­gram aimed at pre­vent­ing the dis­card­ing of “ex­tra” frozen hu­man em­bryos is it­self in dan­ger of be­ing dis­carded.

In a move that pro-lif­ers are call­ing more ev­i­dence of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s “pro-abor­tion slant,” the White House has sought to de­fund the Em­bryo Adop­tion Aware­ness Cam­paign in its fis­cal 2013 bud­get.

The Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices “is not re­quest­ing funds for this pro­gram” be­cause “the Em­bryo Adop­tion pro­gram will be dis­con­tin­ued in FY2013,” HHS of­fi­cials said in a Fe­bru­ary fund­ing re­port to Congress.

While some ob­servers sup­port this move as a way to free up funds for more ur­gent re­pro­duc­tive-health con­cerns, sup­port­ers of em­bryo adop­tion say this is the wrong time to aban­don em­bryos that are some­times called “snowflake ba­bies.”

“I think that daily we talk to peo­ple about . . . em­bryo do­na­tion and adop­tion, and we hear the re­sponse, ‘Re­ally?

stakes in­volved for Is­rael, for Amer­ica and for the world,” Mr. Obama said. “Rest as­sured that the Ira­nian gov­ern­ment will know our re­solve and that our co­or­di­na­tion with Is­rael will con­tinue.”

He made the com­ments a day be­fore a sched­uled meet­ing at the White House with Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu, with the ques­tion of Iran high on their agenda. Mr. Ne­tanyahu also plans to ad­dress the AI­PAC con­fer­ence on Mon­day. Re­pub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates Mitt Rom­ney, Newt Gin­grich and Rick San­to­rum are ex­pected to ad­dress the con­fer­ence later in the week.

The Is­raeli news ser­vice Haaretz re­ported that Mr. Ne­tanyahu wants to lever­age the AI­PAC con­fer­ence to gain com­mit­ments that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion will sup­port an at­tack on Iran’s fa­cil­i­ties.

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” Mckeon, Cal­i­for­nia Re­pub­li­can and chair­man of the House Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, spoke on C-SPAN ear­lier Sun­day about the pos­si­bil­ity of a joint op­er­a­tion.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to take care of what­ever needs to be done,” Mr. Mckeon said.

Mo­ments be­fore Mr. Obama spoke, Is­raeli Pres­i­dent Shi­mon Peres told the AI­PAC crowd that Is­rael would de­fend it­self against the threat of an “evil” Ira­nian regime. Mr. Peres said there is “no space be­tween” Is­rael and the U.S. when it comes to a pol­icy re­gard­ing Iran.

“Pres­i­dent Obama made it clear that the United States of Amer­ica will never per­mit Iran to be­come nu­clear,” Mr. Peres said. “He made it clear that con­tain­ment is not a vi­able pol­icy. As the pres­i­dent stated, all op­tions are on the ta­ble. The United States and Is­rael share the same goal: to pre­vent Iran from de­vel­op­ing a nu­clear weapon. Our mes­sage is clear. Iran will not de­velop a nu­clear weapon.”

In his most ex­ten­sive com­ments yet on the sub­ject, Mr. Obama said Iran, a spon­sor of ter­ror­ism that has vowed to de­stroy Is­rael, must not be al­lowed to ob­tain a nu­clear weapon. But he said the U.S. and Is­rael “both as­sess that Iran does not yet have a nu­clear weapon, and we are ex­ceed­ingly vig­i­lant in mon­i­tor­ing their pro­gram.”

“I firmly be­lieve that an op­por­tu­nity re­mains for di­plo­macy — backed by pres­sure — to suc­ceed,” Mr. Obama said. “Sanc­tions are con­tin­u­ing to in­crease, and this July — thanks to our diplo­matic co­or­di­na­tion — a Euro­pean ban on Ira­nian oil im­ports will take hold. Faced with these in­creas­ingly dire con­se­quences, Iran’s lead­ers still have the op­por­tu­nity to make the right decision.”

But Iran’s lead­ers should know that he “would not hes­i­tate to use force” if nec­es­sary, the pres­i­dent said.

Mr. Gin­grich, a for­mer House speaker, said the pres­i­dent is play­ing the public “for fools.”

“You’ve had no ev­i­dence that the pres­i­dent is pre­pared to take steps to stop Iran from get­ting nu­clear weapons,” Mr. Gin­grich said on CNN’S “State of the Union.” “They talk and the Ira­ni­ans build,” he said. Mr. Obama, who is cam­paign­ing for re-elec­tion on his kept prom­ises to end the war in Iraq and wind down the war in Afghanistan, em­pha­sized that he would use mil­i­tary force only as a last re­sort.

He de­fended his ad­min­is­tra­tion against what he called elec­tion-year par­ti­san at­tacks that he is soft on Is­rael’s se­cu­rity.

“If dur­ing this po­lit­i­cal sea­son you hear some ques­tion my ad­min­is­tra­tion’s sup­port for Is­rael, re­mem­ber that it’s not backed up by the facts,” Mr. Obama said. “My ad­min­is­tra­tion’s com­mit­ment to Is­rael’s se­cu­rity has been un­prece­dented. Our mil­i­tary and in­tel­li­gence co­op­er­a­tion has never been closer. Our joint ex­er­cises and train­ing have never been more ro­bust. De­spite a tough bud­get en­vi­ron­ment, our se­cu­rity as­sis­tance has in­creased ev­ery year.”

He said the U.s.-is­rael re­la­tion­ship “is sim­ply too im­por­tant to be dis­torted by par­ti­san pol­i­tics.”

Even as Mr. Obama called for low­er­ing the rhetoric on mil­i­tary ac­tion, he seemed to en­cour­age some in the au­di­ence by re­mind­ing them that Is­rael has the power to act uni­lat­er­ally against Iran.

“Make no mis­take: We will do what it takes to pre­serve Is­rael’s qual­i­ta­tive mil­i­tary edge, be­cause Is­rael must al­ways have the abil­ity to de­fend it­self, by it­self, against any threat,” Mr. Obama said.

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