Today, for the third time, the House of Representatives passed a bill widening the scope of acceptable uses of embryonic stem cells for federal research.
Why is this the third time the House has seen a version of this legislation, you ask? Because President Bush exercised his veto authority for the very first time when he put pen to paper, outlawing an expansion of federal embryonic stem cell research. And he's promising to do it again. And again. And again.
As the New York Times reported:
"I am disappointed the leadership of Congress recycled an old bill that would simply overturn our country's carefully balanced policy on embryonic stem cell research," Mr.Bush said in a statement. "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." (emphasis added)
Notice how the bolded phrase compares to the actual text of the legislation:
Human embryonic stem cells shall be eligible for use in any research conducted or supported by the Secretary if the cells meet each of the following:
`(1) The stem cells were derived from human embryos that have been donated from in vitro fertilization clinics, were created for the purposes of fertility treatment, and were in excess of the clinical need of the individuals seeking such treatment.
`(2) Prior to the consideration of embryo donation and through consultation with the individuals seeking fertility treatment, it was determined that the embryos would never be implanted in a woman and would otherwise be discarded.
`(3) The individuals seeking fertility treatment donated the embryos with written informed consent and without receiving any financial or other inducements to make the donation." (emphasis added)
This clearly states that such embryonic stem cells would otherwise be discarded. THIS BEARS REPEATING: BUSH IS PREVENTING SCIENTISTS FROM USING EMBRYOS THAT WOULD OTHERWISE BE DISCARDED.
On behalf of the majority of Americans who are hopeful that embryonic stem cell research will lead to cures for Juvenile Diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other life-threatening illnesses: thank you, Members of Congress who continue to push this legislation in hopes that one day our President will open his eyes and put his pen down.