Wednesday, June 20, 2007

President Bush Vetoes Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill

Washington, D.C. - Today President George W. Bush, for the second time, vetoed an embryonic stem cell research bill. Speaking in the East Room of the White House where last year he vetoed a similar bill, President Bush stated, "I made it clear to Congress and the American people that I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line." "Destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical, and it is not the only option before us," he said.
The veto ceremony was attended by patients and scientists who oppose research that involves human embryos. During the veto ceremony, President Bush also issued an executive order which directs that the Health and Human Services Department promote research into "pluripotent" stem cells. These stem cells have the potential to regenerate cell types and body tissues without use of embryonic stem cells.
In response to the veto, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) stated, "When I am president, I will lift the ban on stem cell research."
The Bush administration has correctly made a distinction between adult stem cell research, which the President supports, and embryonic stem cell research, which the President opposes. The former does not have the moral dilemma of creating life only to destroy it through research, as does the latter.
President Bush has taken a principled stand that promotes science while respecting the sanctity of human life. Science and morality are not enemies. While we must find ways to cure disease and save lives, we must never devalue human life in the process. Our first commitment must be to life, because without the right to life, all other rights are illusory. The President has always maintained the proper balance between science and morality.