Frist Stem Cell Research Change Won’t Alter President Bush’s Views

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 29, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Frist Stem Cell Research Change Won’t Alter President Bush’s Views Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 29, 2005

Washington, DC ( — White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Friday that a flip-flop by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on expanding taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research won’t change President Bush’s position against it. McClellan said Bush remains committed to vetoing any legislation using more tax funds to destroy human embryos for research.

"I think the President has made his position very clear. Nothing has changed in terms of his position," McClellan explained.

"The decisions we make today have far-reaching consequences," McClellan added. "We are going to continue to aggressively advance medical research, while also maintaining the highest ethical standards."

McClellan said President Bush continued to believe "taxpayer money should not be used to create life for the sole purpose of destroying life."

The White House spokesman said elected officials should look to the many alternatives to embryonic stem cell research that are available.

"Now, there are a lot of alternative sources of stem cell research that we also need to be exploring. And I think Senator Frist touched on that as well today," McClellan said. "Adult stem cell research shows great promise. Umbilical cord, blood cell shows great promise. And scientists today are looking at ways to derive lines from embryonic stem cells in a way that wouldn’t destroy life."

McClellan responded to those who say President Bush is compromising scientific research with his policy.

"The President has pushed to double funding at the National Institutes of Health, to $29 billion a year, so that we can continue to encourage research. We’ve seen more than an 80 percent increase in funding for all stem cell research," he said.

Bush’s press representative also indicated he would not favor legislation that would fund embryonic stem cell research conducted after his August 2001 policy.

"The President does not believe we should be using taxpayer dollars for — or to support the further destruction of human life," he said.