WASHINGTON (CNS) - Surrounded by children who were once frozen embryos and the families who adopted them, President George W. Bush announced on Jul 19 that he had used the first veto of his five-and-a-half-year administration on a bill that would have expanded federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research.

Families with children who were once frozen embryos listen to U.S. President George W. Bush speak out against the federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research during an event at the White House in Washington.

Also in the room were Americans who had undergone successful treatments using adult stem cells. Bush called them "living proof that effective medical science can also be ethical". CNS photo

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"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," Bush said. "Our conscience and history as a nation demand that we resist this temptation."

If the Stem-Cell Research Enhancement Act had become law, "for the first time in our history we would have been forced to fund the deliberate destruction of human embryos, and I'm not going to allow it."

Richard Doerflinger, deputy-director of the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, praised the veto and Bush's insistence "that progress in treating devastating diseases must be pursued in ways that are both effective and morally sound".

 

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