August 10, 2001

President Bush's Stem Cell Policy

On Thursday evening, President Bush announced that he will proceed with federal funding of experiments on stem cells which have been obtained by killing human embryos. He also said that he will provide federal support for experiments using stem cells obtained from non-embryonic sources, adult tissues, umbilical cords, and placentas.

The president is right to provide funds for research involving non-embryonic stem cells. Medical research using these cells has already shown encouraging practical results. It would be unthinkable not to apply resources in this area, given the practical results to date and the grave ethical problems associated with the alternative. The president's decision to fund experiments which use the 60-odd cell lines that have been derived from human embryos is a serious mistake. It is wrong to seek to benefit from the evil done by others. It is even worse to invest in research that seeks to expand the range of benefits to be obtained by such evil means--exploiting human subjects--thus building a more powerful rationale to proceed with the evil means in pursuit of certain desired ends.

People for Life applauds efforts which are now underway to overturn the president's unfortunate, though no doubt well-intentioned, decision through the judicial process. Since 1995, a provision of the annual Health and Human Services (HHS) appropriations bill called the "Dickey Amendment" has prohibited federal funding of any "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death..." It seems at least reasonable to conclude that experiments using human embryonic stem cells that were previously obtained by killing human embryos is "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed."

We also look to Congressman Phil English and Senator Rick Santorum to support legislation to reverse this new course that President Bush has set for our nation and society.

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People for Life, Inc. is an all-volunteer, non-profit, citizen's organization committed to affirming the intrinsic value of human life. People for Life is dedicated to advancing true justice by working for the protection of all innocent human lives, whatever the age, race, sex, physical condition, economic status, or place of residence (including the womb). People for Life encourages local involvement through education, political awareness, and the promotion of loving alternatives to the primitive and violent "solutions" of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia. Together, we can create a society in which all human lives are held sacred.