What the President really vetoed

Posted in Opinion at 11:08 am by jw

George W. Bush wants the public to believe that he was rescuing thousands of babies from a brutal murder at the hands of science.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Here’s the relavent part of the bill that was vetoed:

    `(b) Ethical Requirements- 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.

Note the following restrictions on which embryos could be used for science:

  • Must have been created for the express purpose of reproduction.
  • Must have been scheduled for destruction (killing) anyway.
  • Must have consent.
  • Must not be induced.

So, in short, what the President has done is ensured that the hundreds of thousands of embryos that are killed every year in the name of giving infertile couples children continue to be killed without offering any chance for giving life to someone else suffering from a disease.  The veto of this bill was the moral equivalent of preventing dying people from giving their bodies to science.  No matter which way you look at the results, George W. Bush has saved no babies and instead delayed science which may have saved lives.


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