President Bush Promises Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill Veto

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 11, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush Promises Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill Veto Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 11
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — If Congress approves a measure that would force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research, President Bush has promised he will issue a second veto of the legislation. Last year Congress passed the bill and failed to come up with enough votes to override the veto.

In a statement of policy on behalf of the president, the Bush administration said he "strongly opposes House passage" of the bill.

"The bill would compel all American taxpayers to pay for research that relies on the intentional destruction of human embryos for the derivation of stem cells, overturning the President’s policy that funds research without promoting such ongoing destruction," the White House said.

The statement promised that if the measure, HR 3, makes it to Bush’s desk, "he would veto the bill."

That’s because "this bill would provide federal funding for the first time for a line of research that involves the intentional destruction of living human embryos for the derivation of their cells."

"Destroying nascent human life for research raises serious ethical problems, and millions of Americans consider the practice immoral," the Bush administration said.

Advocates of the controversial research, which has never treated any human patients, picked up additional votes after the November elections, but they do not likely have the two-thirds vote necessary to override a presidential veto

Though he plans to veto the bill if Congress sends it to him, the White House said the president "strongly supports medical research and has worked with Congress to increase resources for the National Institutes of Health."

It highlights how President Bush was the first president to provide federal funds for any kind of stem cell research, including research on embryonic stem cells that were obtained prior to the introduction of his policy prohibiting funding of new research involving the destruction of human life.

"Over the past six years, more than $130 million in taxpayer dollars has been devoted to human embryonic stem cell research consistent with the President’s policy," the Bush administration said. "Overall, nearly $3 billion has gone to innovative research on all forms of stem cells, contributing to dozens of proven medical treatments."

The statement says President Bush acknowledges that embryonic stem cell research "has never yielded a therapeutic application in humans."

Instead, the president supports alternative types of stem cells such as adult stem cells that "have already achieved therapeutic results in thousands of patients with many different diseases."

As a result, President Bush "believes that the availability of alternative sources of stem cells further counters the case for compelling the American taxpayer to encourage the ongoing destruction of human embryos for research."