Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Bush Promises to Veto Stem-Cell Bill

Bishops' Aide Notes Promise in New Studies

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 12, 2007 ( U.S. President George Bush promised to veto the bill passed in both the House and Senate promoting federal funding for the destruction of human embryos.

Bush, expected to veto the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act this week upon his return from Europe, said: "If this bill were to become law, American taxpayers would for the first time in our history be compelled to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos.

"Crossing that line would be a grave mistake."

The president explained: "Researchers have been investigating innovative techniques that could allow doctors and scientists to produce stem cells just as versatile as those derived from human embryos, but without harming life, and the House vote on this bill took place just after significant advances in stem cell research were reported in leading scientific journals.

"These reports give us added hope that we may one day enjoy the potential benefits of embryonic stem cells without destroying human life."

Commenting on this new research, Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of the U.S. episcopal conference's committee on pro-life activities, said: "These new studies, showing the direct reprogramming of adult cells to form cells with the abilities of embryonic stem cells [hold] great promise.

"Because adult cell reprogramming does not pose the moral problem of creating or destroying embryos, or of exploiting women for their eggs, it may offer a way for people of all faiths and ethical backgrounds to use, subsidize, and enjoy any benefits from pluripotent stem cell research."

"This would be a gain for science, ethics and society," Doerflinger concluded. "It seems obvious that science and ethics can and should work hand in hand to advance this field."