Murray Applauds Obama Memorandum Urging Separation of Politics and Science

Mar 09 2009

Highlights how change will affect health care needs of women

 (Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded President Obama for issuing a presidential memorandum aimed at removing political influences from scientific decisions. The memo came on the same day that President Obama signed an executive order to limit the restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. 

 “President Obama is taking the handcuffs off of our scientists,” said Senator Murray. “Scientists and researchers can now move forward with the confidence that their work will be judged on its scientific merits, not on its political implications. This will help us recruit the world’s best and brightest, and will ensure we are exploring every option for finding cures to debilitating diseases like MS, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer's.

“This memo will also have important implications on women’s access to care. After years of Bush Administration attempts to put ideology before women’s health, today marks a dramatic step in the right direction for the health care needs of American women.”

Senator Murray has been leading the charge to remove politics from the scientific decision making process. She has been a long-time supporter of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act.  She also led the fight to make Plan B available over-the-counter, when the first application was rejected by the Food and Drug administration despite overwhelming support from its own advisory panels.

 Senator Murray, along with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, also led the effort to block  the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)from implementing the “conscience” regulation that would allow anyone working for a health care provider to refuse to perform or assist in the performance of any health care service if doing so would violate his or her religious or moral beliefs - without regard for the needs of patients.