For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 20, 2007
Fact Sheet: Advancing Stem Cell Research While Respecting Moral Boundaries
President Bush Takes Action To Support Ethical Research, Vetoes Bill
Overturning Balanced Stem Cell Policy
President Bush Discusses Stem Cell Veto and Executive Order
Message to the Senate of the United States
Executive Order: Expanding Approved Stem Cell Lines in Ethically Responsible Ways
In Focus: Health Care
Today, President Bush Signed An Executive Order To Strengthen Our Nation's
Commitment To Research On Pluripotent Stem Cells. Scientists have recently shown they have the ingenuity and skill to pursue the potential benefits of pluripotent stem cell research - research on cells that have the potential to develop into nearly all the cell types and tissues in the body - without endangering human life in the process. By expanding support for
non-destructive research methods, this Executive Order will make it more
likely that these exciting advances continue to unfold.
President Bush Also Vetoed A Bill That Would Overturn His Careful, Ethical
Approach To Stem Cell Research. If this legislation became law, it would
compel American taxpayers - for the first time in our history - to support
the deliberate destruction of human embryos. The President has made it
clear to Congress and the American people that he will not allow the Nation
to cross this moral line.
In August 2001, President Bush Announced A Policy To Advance Stem Cell
Research In A Way That Is Ambitious, Ethical, And Effective. President
Bush was the first president to make Federal funds available for human
embryonic stem cell research - and his policy did this in ways that would
not encourage the destruction of embryos.
The President Believes We Must Pursue The Possibilities Of Science In A
Manner That Respects Human Dignity And Upholds Our Moral Values.
Destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical, and
it is not the only option before us. Technical innovation in this
difficult area is opening up new possibilities for progress without
conflict or ethical controversy.
The President's Careful Approach Is Producing Results. Since 2001, the
Administration has made $130 million dollars available for research on stem
cell lines derived from embryos that had already been destroyed before the
President's policy was announced. It has also provided more than $3 billion
in Federal funding for research on all forms of stem cells, including those
from adult and other non-embryonic sources. This funding has contributed to
proven therapeutic treatments in thousands of patients with many different
diseases, and it is opening the prospect of new treatments and cures that
could transform countless lives.
Recent Scientific Breakthroughs Are Showing Stem Cell Science Can Progress
While Respecting Moral Boundaries
There Have Been Advances In Therapies That Use Stem Cells Drawn From
Adults, Children, And The Blood From Umbilical Cords - With No Harm To The
Researchers Are Now Developing Promising New Techniques That Offer The
Potential To Produce Pluripotent Stem Cells - Without Having To Destroy
This month, several new studies showed the potential of reprogramming adult
cells, such as skin cells, to make them function like embryonic stem cells.
In January 2007, scientists discovered that cells extracted from amniotic
fluid and placentas could also provide stem cells that seem to do what
embryonic stem cells can - without creating or destroying embryos.
The Administration Is Taking Immediate Action To Increase Our Support For
These Researchers In Their Vital Work
Today, President Bush Issued An Executive Order To Strengthen Our Nation's
Commitment To Research On Pluripotent Stem Cells. The Order:
Directs the Department of Health and Human Services and the National
Institutes of Health to ensure that any human pluripotent stem cell lines
produced in ways that do not create, destroy, or harm human embryos will be
eligible for federal funding.
Expands the NIH's Embryonic Stem Cell registry to include all types of
ethically produced human pluripotent stem cells.
Renames the registry the Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry - so that it
reflects what the stem cells can do, instead of where they come from.
Invites scientists to work with the NIH, so we can add new ethically
derived stem cell lines to the list of those eligible for Federal funding.
President Bush Calls On Congress To Pass Legislation That Would Authorize
Additional Funds For Ethical Stem Cell Research So He Can Sign It Into Law.
The Senate recently passed a bill that would authorize additional Federal
funding for alternative stem cell research, and the President calls on the
House to pass similar legislation.
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