MR PRESIDENT, YOUR ADMINISTRATION IS SENDING MIXED MESSAGES; IT'S BEING HYPOCRITICAL AND IT'S MAKING PURELY POLITICAL (REGARDLESS OF THE ETHICS) DECISIONS! And I'm a conservative Republican, imagine my disdane if I were a liberal Democrat.A short time ago you (George Walker Bush) vetoed the Stem Cell Initiative! Ok, I disagree with your decision but your concern for the dignity of life does merit consideration.Now you have voiced your support for your nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration and his decision to approve over-the-counter sales of the morning after, Plan B, birth control pill.Excuse the hell out of me, but didn't you just validate an embryo that has never graced a woman's reproductive system and then supported termination of an embryo that is present in a woman's reproductive system seeking to implant itself in the womb? What's wrong with this logic? MR PRESIDENT, you say you are a compassionate conservative, I don't think so! You're just another politician.Oh yeah, I've got a dog in this hunt! You vetoed hope for millions (myself included)!
ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2006 I RECIEVED THE FOLLOWING LETTER:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Mr. Frank Austin
Dear Mr. Austin:
Thank you for writing to President Bush about the complex issue of human embryonic stem cell research. We appreciate hearing your views.
In making a decision on the use of Federal funds for human embryonic stem cell research, the President consulted with scientists, scholars, bioethicists, religious leaders, doctors, researchers, members of the Congress and the Cabinet, and the American people. He spent a great deal of time studying and reflecting on this issue. The result is a balanced policy shaped by deeply held beliefs regarding both the sanctity of human life and the potential of science and medicine to help humanity.
The President's policy has allowed important research to go forward without using taxpayer funds to encourage the further deliberate destruction of human embryos. There is no ban on human embryonic stem cell research, and the policy places no limits on the research itself. In fact, this Administration became the first to make Federal funds available for this research -- yet only on stem cell lines derived from embryos that had already been destroyed. The-Administration has also expanded funding for research of human non-embryonic stem cells, which can be drawn with no harm to the donor. This research has already led to treatments for thousands of patients and continues to show great promise. As the President has said, our challenge is to harness the power of science to ease human suffering without sanctioning the practices that violate the dignity of human life. President Bush believes that America's scientists have the ingenuity and skill to meet this challenge.
Enclosed is a fact sheet concerning stem cell research and the President's position. Thank you again for writing. President Bush sends his best wishes.
Darren K. Hipp
Special Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Correspondence
FACT SHEET: STEM CELL RESEARCH
-- President George W. Bush, July 19, 2006
President Bush's policy aims to support stem cell research without creating an incentive for further destruction of human embryos.
- When President Bush took office, there was no Federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research. Under the policy announced by the President 5 years ago, this Administration has become the first to make Federal funds available for this type of research. The funding provided is for research on human embryonic stem cell lines that were created before the policy was enacted, where the life-and-death decision had already been made.
- The policy places no limits on the research itself, and there is no ban on human embryonic stem cell research. The only limits in the policy are restrictions on using taxpayer funds to encourage the further deliberate destruction of human embryos. Only research that uses Federal taxpayer dollars is affected by this policy.
- On July 19,2006, President Bush signed the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act of2006 to prohibit the trafficking of human fetuses that are created with the sole intent of aborting them to harvest their parts.
- Additionally, the President vetoed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of2005. This bill attempted to overturn the President's balanced policy by compelling American taxpayers to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos in the hope of finding medical benefits for others.
"As science brings us ever closer to unlocking the secrets of human biology, it also offers temptations to manipulate human life and violate human dignity. Our conscience and history as a Nation demand that we resist this temptation. "
The President remains committed to exploring fully the promise and potential of biomedical research while respecting the moral boundaries that must guide such research.
- The balance the President struck is a sound one: the Federal Government will provide funding for stem cell research as long as Federal funds do not encourage the further destruction ofliving human embryos.
- This policy lets the government go as far as is ethically permissible in advancing research without crossing a crucial moral line. As the President has said, crossing the line would needlessly encourage a conflict between science and ethics that can only do damage to both, and to our Nation as a whole.
Exploring the Promise of Stem Cell Research
"America pursues medical advances in the name of life, and we will achieve the great breakthroughs we all seek with reverence for the gift of life. "
The Bush Administration was the first to provide Federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research and has strongly supported research using stem cells that can be drawn from children, adults, and the blood in umbilical cords with no harm to the donor. These stem cells have shown therapeutic promise and are already being used in medical treatments.
- The Bush Administration has provided more than $90 million since 2001 for human embryonic stem cell research pursued within clear moral bounds. As of July 2006, more than 700 shipments of eligible stem cell lines have been sent to researchers who requested the lines for use in scientific research, and thousands more are available upon request.
- An estimated $200 million in fiscal year 2006 will be provided for the following types of human non-embryonic stem cell research: adult, umbilical cord blood, placental, and bone marrow. This research has led to treatment for thousands of patients and continues to show great promise.
- The President has established new National Institutes of Health (NIH) stem cell centers of excellence to promote research on stem cells, as well as a National Stem Cell Bank that will reduce costs for researchers using approved lines. The Federal Government is also developing a network of cord blood stem cell banks to help physicians find matches for their patients and to help researchers explore the uses of cord blood stem cells in regenerative medicine .
- The President has directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director ofthe NIH to use all the tools at their disposal to aid the search for stem cell techniques that advance promising medical science in an ethical and morally responsible way.
Unprecedented Support for Medical Research
"In this new era, our challenge is to harness the power of science to ease human suffering without sanctioning the practices that violate the dignity of human life ... .I believe America's scientists have the ingenuity and skill to meet this challenge."
The NIH is giving unprecedented support to the effort to find cures and treatments for disease by supporting the full range of scientific opportunities. For example, funding for research into the following diseases has been dramatically increased:
- Alzheimer's Disease -- $525 million in fiscal year 2001 to $652 million estimated for
fiscal year 2006
- Cancer -- $4.38 billion in fiscal year 2001 to $5.6 billion estimated for fiscal year 2006
- Diabetes -- $688 million in fiscal year 2001 to more than $1 billion estimated for fiscal year 2006.
- Parkinson's Disease -- $175 million in fiscal year 2001 to $223 million estimated for fiscal year 2006
- Spinal cord injury -- $71 million in fiscal year 2001 to $88 million estimated for fiscal year 2006