President Bush Restates Opposition to Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 3, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush Restates Opposition to Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 3, 2005

Washington, DC ( — In an interview Tuesday with reporters from several large newspapers, President Bush reiterated his opposition to embryonic stem cell research, saying it destroys human life. He also repeated his promise to veto legislation that would overturn his policy against spending taxpayer dollars on new studies conducted with embryonic stem cells.

"I am confident I have achieved the right balance between science and ethics," Bush said in the interview at the White House.

“There are ethical dilemmas when it comes to science, and I think it’s very important for a government to recognize those ethical dilemmas," Bush told the reporters. “The dilemma I was faced with was do I allow the destruction of life in order to advance science.”

In August 2001, President Bush put in place a policy prohibiting taxpayer funding of any new embryonic stem cell research conducted after that point. Instead, he has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on adult stem cell research, which has already produced dozens of cures and treatments for various diseases.

Bush said he would still veto any Congressional legislation that overturns his policy.

"They have the prerogative to pass laws. I have the prerogative to set limits on what I think is right," Bush said.

The president’s comments were the first since Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist flip-flopped on the issue and indicated he backed using federal funds for the unproven research.

Americans appear to back the president’s position.

A May 2005 poll by International Communications Research, found 52 percent oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research while just 36 percent support it.

In an August 2004 poll conducted by Wilson Research Strategies, 53 percent of respondents said that they opposed “using tax dollars to pay for the kind of stem cell research that requires the killing of human embryos,” while only 38 percent supported it

According to the Associated Press, Bush spoke Tuesday with reporters from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, The Detroit News, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Portland (Maine) Press Herald, The Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot News, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant, The Des Moines (Iowa) Register and The New Orleans Times-Picayune.