Bush Vetoes Embryonic Stem Cell Bill
President Says Bill Would Support Taking Innocent Human Life, Override Fails
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"This research is going to take place. I'd like to see America take a leading role in this," said Lawrence T. Smith, chairman of the American Diabetes Association. "I see that America loses a prominent position in this research to other countries without the funding," he said.
In his speech, Bush promoted research on other types of stem cells, including those isolated from adult bone marrow and umbilical cord blood. Those sources have already been used to develop cures for forms of leukemialeukemia and other blood diseases.
Bush said he would not support the use of public money for studies harming what he sees as nascent humans. He delivered his speech while surrounded by children whose parents adopted them as embryos stored at fertilization clinics.
"American taxpayers would for the first time be compelled to fund the deliberate destruction of human embryos," said Bush. "I will not allow it."
A decade-old law known as the Dickey Amendment already bans using federal money to destroy human embryos or fetuses. The bill passed by Congress and vetoed by the president would devote federal funding to research on cell lines created with private money.
"You listen to the president's speech and you wonder, 'Who was his science teacher?'" Harkin told reporters.
A bill increasing funding for alternative methods of stem cell extraction that do not harm embryos was expected to be on the president's desk along with the stem cell bill. It passed the Senate unanimously Tuesday afternoon but failed in the House.