WASHINGTON, July 19, 2006—Following Senate approval of three critical stem cell research bills and the subsequent presidential veto of H.R. 810 by President Bush today, Dr. Richard Land, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, commented on the vote and presidential action.
“All Americans should rejoice that not one senator or representative voted against the ban on fetus farming (S. 3504). That’s an overwhelming statement of the moral reprehension with which the Congress looks upon the idea of creating embryos for the express purpose of killing them to harvest their fetal tissue. That’s the good news.
“The bad news is that while the Senate voted 100-0 in favor of the pluripotent stem cell research bill (S. 2754), enough representatives, Republican and Democrat, decided to play politics with this issue that the bill failed by 12 votes to reach the two-thirds majority in the House required by the rules under which the vote was taken. This is tragic, because this research could lead in the very near future to being able to develop embryonic-like stem cells without having to kill an embryo in order to harvest such cells.
“The worst news is that the Senate voted 63-37 in favor of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research that does require killing a human embryo in order to extract cells for research (H.R. 810). Since the House has already passed such legislation, it went to President Bush for his veto. Fortunately, the President, standing by the principles he has articulated on this issue from the beginning, has vetoed such legislation so no federal tax money is being used to kill embryos.
“Since neither the Senate nor House has passed the destructive stem cell bill (H.R. 810) by two-thirds, it will not become law. The essential issue here is whether or not we as a nation want to underwrite the killing of unborn children in order to try to seek cures for older and bigger human beings. This is biotech cannibalism, in which we eat our own young in order to treat and extend the lives of older and bigger human beings. Americans should be grateful we have a President who says, ‘No, this is not the kind of nation we want to be.’”