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From: Jack Oliver, RNC Deputy Chairman []

Sent: Friday, August 10, 2001 1:38 PM

To: Fred Hoot

Subject: President Bush reaches principled decision on stem cell


Dear Friend,

Last night, President Bush reached out to Americans in their homes to discuss a complex and difficult issue the use of taxpayer dollars to fund limited stem cell research. Speaking from his Texas home in the nation's heartland, President Bush revealed a decision that demonstrates his fundamental commitment to preserving the value and sanctity of human life and his desire to promote vital medical research.

President Bush understands that science and technology have the potential for incredible good -- to improve lives, to save life, and to conquer disease. And while President Bush joins with all Americans in seeking and supporting cures for disease, President Bush was also guided by his belief that human life is a sacred gift from our Creator. President Bush said last night, while we must devote enormous energy to conquering disease, it is equally important that we pay attention to the moral concerns raised by the new frontier of human embryo stem cell research. Even the most noble ends do not justify any means.

The President's decision will permit federal funding of research using the more than 60 existing stem cell lines that have already been derived, but will not sanction or encourage the destruction of additional human embryos. President Bush announced, I have concluded that we should allow federal funds to be used for research on these existing stem cell lines where the life and death decision has already been made. This allows us to explore the promise and potential of stem cell research without crossing a fundamental moral line by providing taxpayer funding that would sanction or encourage further destruction of human embryos that have at least the potential for life.

President Bush will not allow any federal funds for: (1) the derivation or use of stem cell lines derived from newly destroyed embryos; (2) the creation of any human embryos for research purposes; or (3) the cloning of human embryos for any purpose. Furthermore, federal funds will only be available for the 60 existing stem cell lines which are believed to meet three criteria: (1) the informed consent of the donors; (2) from excess embryos created solely for reproductive purposes; and (3) without any financial inducements to the donors.

President Bush also believes that great scientific progress can be made through aggressive federal funding of research on umbilical cord placenta, adult, and animal stem cells that do not involve the same moral dilemma. As a result, President Bush announced that this year the government will spend $250 million on this important research.

President Bush is also naming a President's council to monitor stem cell research, to recommend appropriate guidelines and regulations, and to consider all of the medical and ethical ramifications of biomedical innovation. This council will consist of leading scientists, doctors, ethicists, lawyers, theologians and others, and will be chaired by Dr. Leon Kass, a leading biomedical ethicist from the University of Chicago.

The United States has a long record of leading the world toward advances in science and medicine that improve human life; however, the United States also has a long record of upholding the highest standards of ethics as we expand the limits of science and knowledge. That is why President Bush took several months to consult with scientists, scholars, bioethicists, religious leaders, doctors, researchers, members of Congress, and the Cabinet. He also read the heartfelt letters of many Americans and gave this issue a great deal of thought, prayer and considerable reflection.

Governor Gilmore praised President Bush's decision. Being President is about leadership and making tough decisions, and today President Bush has made one of the toughest he'll face as President. I know all Americans are proud of the way in which the President took a careful, thoughtful and statesmanlike approach to this decision. The President has struck the right balance between advancing medical research to help people suffering from grave illnesses, protecting the sanctity of human life. I fully support the President's decision as the best course for our nation.


Jack Oliver,

Deputy Chairman

Republican National Committee

Talking Points:

Praise For President Bush's Thoughtful, Principled Stance On Embryonic Stem Cell Research:

Remarks By The President On Stem Cell Research:

Read the biography of Dr. Leon Kass, a leading biomedical ethicist from the University of Chicago:

Paid for by the Republican National Committee.

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