President Bush Promises a Veto–Condemns Human Cloning

President George W. Bush warned Congress today that he would veto any bill that would allow federal funding for research that would lead to the destruction of additional human embryos. “I made very clear to Congress that the use of federal money, taxpayer’s money, to promote science which destroys life in order to save life — I’m against that,” the President said. “Therefore, if the bill does that, I would veto it” [see report in USA Today]. President Bush was responding to developments in Congress, where ‘moderate’ Republicans are pushing the “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005.” Sponsors of the legislation claim to have enough votes to pass the bill. President Bush has yet to veto any piece of legislation. This statement puts Congress on notice that he will veto this dangerous bill.

The President’s statements on human cloning came in response to reports from Korea that scientists there had made further advances in cloning human embryos, and that the same researchers had developed new stem cell sources from other human tissues. “I’m very concerned about cloning,” the President commented. “I worry about a world in which cloning becomes accepted.” The President’s concerns are well founded, and the Korean report will require further scrutiny. In any event, the report [see coverage by Dan Vergano in USA Today] comes as a stark reminder that research into human cloning continues, apparently without legal restriction.

FURTHER UPDATES:  From The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Sydney Morning Herald [Australia].  British researchers also announced a successful human clone, though reports do not yet offer many details.  See Medical News Today [UK] and ABC News.