by Steven Ertelt
April 10, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The White House confirmed on Tuesday that President Bush will veto a bill the Senate debated Tuesday that would force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research. The administration said the president doesn’t want to make people pay for research that involves the destruction of human life.
"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," it said.
"Destroying nascent human life for research raises serious ethical problems, and millions of Americans consider the practice immoral," it added.
In the statement LifeNews.com received, the White House said the president still believes that embryonic stem cell research crosses an important moral line and that better, ethical alternatives are available.
"The administration believes that research on alternative sources of stem cells is extremely promising and provides robust opportunities to advance science without compelling American taxpayers to participate in ongoing destruction of human embryos," the statement said.
The administration said President Bush "would veto the bill" if the embryonic funding measure reaches his desk.
Saying that the president "does not believe science and ethics need be at odds" the Bush administration indicated he supports an alternative measure sponsored by Republican Sens. Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Norm Coleman of Minnesota.
Their bill, S. 30, would encourage federal funding for research into new ways to obtain different kinds of stem cells, without harming human embryos in the process.
Coleman previously told Roll Call magazine that their bill “doesn’t cross the moral line” by funding embryonic stem cell research and would, instead, allow funding of adult stem cells and other alternatives.
He said that with the president committing to veto the embryonic funding bill again, Congress should look to other measures like his.
In an email to LifeNews.com, Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of National Right to Life, said there was nothing in the bill that his group would oppose.
The White House statement also defended Bush’s record.
"The President strongly supports medical research and has worked with Congress to increase resources for the National Institutes of Health," it said.
"Over the past six years, more than $130 million in taxpayer dollars" has been spent on embryonic stem cell research involving cells created before Bush implemented his policy. "Overall, more than $3 billion has gone to innovative research on all forms of stem cells."