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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 19, 2006

Fact Sheet: President Bush's Stem Cell Research Policy

      President Discusses Stem Cell Research Policy

Today, The President Signed A Bill That Draws A Clear Line Against One Of The Most Egregious Abuses In Biomedical Research And Vetoed A Bill That Attempts To Overturn His Balanced Stem Cell Research Policy:

President Bush Is The First President To Provide Federal Funding For Embryonic Stem Cell Research

In 2001, President Bush Set Forth A New Policy On Stem Cell Research That Struck A Balance Between The Needs Of Science And The Demands Of Conscience. In this new era, our challenge is to harness the power of science to ease human suffering without sanctioning practices that violate the dignity of human life.

Finding New Cures For Disease Does Not Require Destroying Human Embryos

Today, The President Met With Children Who Began Their Lives As Frozen Embryos Created For In Vitro Fertilization. These children were adopted while still embryos, and have been blessed with the chance to grow up in a loving family. They remind us of what is lost when embryos are destroyed in the name of research, that we all began our lives as a small collection of cells, and that America must never abandon our fundamental moral principles in our zeal for new treatments and cures.

Embryonic Stem Cells Come From Human Embryos That Are Destroyed For Their Cells. Each of these human embryos is a unique human life, with inherent dignity and matchless value.

With The Right Techniques And Policies, We Can Achieve Scientific Progress While Living Up To Our Ethical Responsibilities. America was founded on the principle that we are all created equal, and endowed by our Creator with the right to life. We can advance the cause of science while upholding this founding principle.

Since The President Announced His Policy In 2001, Advances In Scientific Research Have Also Shown The Great Potential Of Stem Cells That Are Derived Without Harming Human Embryos. The Administration has expanded the funding of research into stem cells that can be drawn from children, adults, and the blood in umbilical cords, with no harm to the donor - and these stem cells are already being used in medical treatments.

Researchers Are Now Also Investigating New Techniques That Could Allow Doctors And Scientists To Produce Stem Cells Just As Versatile As Those Derived From Human Embryos Without Requiring The Destruction Of These Embryos. One technique scientists are exploring would involve "reprogramming" an adult cell - for example, a skin cell - to function like an embryonic stem cell.

President Bush's Balanced Approach To Stem Cell Research Has Worked

The President's Policy Has Allowed Science To Explore The Potential Of Embryonic Stem Cells - And It Has Allowed America To Continue To Lead The World In This Area. Under the President's policy, 21 human embryonic stem cell lines are currently available for Federal funding, and are in use. Each of these lines can be replicated many times. As a result, the National Institutes of Health have helped make more than 700 shipments to researchers since 2001.

There Is No Ban On Embryonic Stem Cell Research. To the contrary, even critics of the President's policy concede that these Federally funded lines are being used in research every day by scientists across the world.

According To The Most Recent Data, From 1998 To 2004, 85 Percent Of Publications On Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Involved The Use Of Lines Approved For Funding By NIH. (Jason Owen-Smith and Jennifer McCormick, "An International Gap In Human ES Cell Research," Nature Biotechnology, April 2006)

According To The Most Recent Data, From 1998 To 2004, 46 Percent Of All Human Embryonic Stem Cell Studies Published Have Been Done In American Institutions. (Jason Owen-Smith and Jennifer McCormick, "An International Gap In Human ES Cell Research," Nature Biotechnology, April 2006)

The President Believes We Must Continue To Explore Hopeful Alternatives And Advance The Cause Of Scientific Research While Staying True To The Ideals Of A Decent And Humane Society. At a moment when ethical alternatives are becoming available, we cannot lose the opportunity to conduct research that would give hope to those suffering from terrible diseases and help move our Nation beyond the current controversies over embryonic stem cell research.

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