WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 21, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities applauded President George Bush’s veto of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act.
Bush vetoed the act on Wednesday, and then issued and executive order to support alternative means to obtain and use versatile or “pluripotent” stem cells.
Cardinal Justin Rigali, the archbishop of Philadelphia and chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement that said: “I commend President Bush today for vetoing S. 5, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act.
“This bill would not actually enhance stem cell research, but divert federal funds away from legitimate research toward avenues requiring the destruction of innocent human life.
“The cause of science is not enhanced but diminished when it loses its moral compass.”
Cardinal Rigali also welcomed the executive order “directing the National Institutes of Health to explore alternative, ethically acceptable means for obtaining very versatile or ‘pluripotent’ stem cells.”
He said: “Recent discoveries regarding stem cells from cord blood and amniotic fluid, and the reprogramming of ordinary adult cells to become pluripotent stem cells, demonstrate that science not only raises new ethical questions but at times can help address them.
“Adult stem cells continue to produce new clinical advances on a regular basis, most recently showing benefits for patients with juvenile diabetes.”
Noting that some members of Congress “have dismissed such advances or even greeted them with suspicion, as though medical progress were less genuine or praiseworthy when it respects early human life,” the cardinal urged lawmakers to promote “research and therapies that everyone can live with.”