President Bush Responds to Passage of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 12, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush Responds to Passage of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 12
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — President Bush responded to the Senate’s approval Wednesday of a bill that would force taxpayers to pay for embryonic stem cell research even though it requires the destruction of human life. He confirmed a statement the White House issued on his behalf earlier this week saying he would veto the bill.

The president said "the advancement of science and medicine need not conflict with the ethical imperative to protect every human life."

Saying he was a "strong supporter of scientific research," President Bush pointed out that his administration was the first to provide federal funding for stem cell research.

Overall, more than $3 billion has gone to innovative research on all forms of stem cells under the Bush administration, contributing to proven medical treatments that use human stem cells from adult and other non-embryonic sources.

"While encouraging — not banning — research, my policy also ensures that federal funds are not used to create incentives to destroy, or harm, or create living human embryos for purposes of research," he explained.

President Bush said he was disappointed that the Senate "voted in support of legislation to overturn these safeguards" and promised to veto it again.

"S.5 is very similar to legislation I vetoed last year. This bill crosses a moral line that I and many others find troubling. If it advances all the way through Congress to my desk, I will veto it," the president promised.

The Senate ultimately voted for S. 5 on a 63-34 margin, short of the two-thirds vote needed to override his veto.

Saying that "exciting and significant scientific advances have been reported over the past few years on uses of stem cells that do not involve the destruction of embryos" Bush said he supported an alternative bill the Senate approved.

He said he supported "further development of these alternative techniques for producing stem cells without embryo creation or destruction."

"I strongly support this bill, and I encourage the Congress to pass it and send it to me for my signature, so stem cell science can progress, without ethical and cultural conflict," the president concluded.