Snow on Bush Stem Cell Veto: ‘The Simple Answer Is He Thinks Murder Is Wrong’

The Senate is expected to vote overwhelming this afternoon to expand embryonic stem cell research. The bill would allow federal funding for research that “could lead to treatments that save millions of lives and improve the quality-of-life for millions more.” President Bush has vowed to veto the bill.

Today, a reporter asked Press Secretary Tony Snow why Bush opposed the bill. Snow responded, “The simple answer is he thinks murder is wrong.” Watch it:

snow at press conference

An embryo is not a baby or even a fetus; it’s a cluster of about 150 cells, also known as a blastocyst, which forms a few days after the joining of a sperm and egg, and is no larger than the period at the end of this sentence.

In any event, the embryos at issue are currently being discarded.


QUESTION: Can you remind us why the president believes that it is not appropriate to use — that it would be more appropriate for stem cells to be thrown away than to be used in this case for medical research?

SNOW: I don’t think that’s the choice that the president is presented. What the president has said is that he doesn’t want human life destroyed.

Now, you may consider that insignificant. But the president has said. And you have had in a number of cases the snowflake babies where some of those fetuses have in fact been brought to term and have become human beings. The president believes strongly that for the purpose of research it’s inappropriate for the federal government to finance something that many people consider murder. He’s one of them.

Furthermore, it is worth pointing out that this government did make available already existing lines — to get back to your question — there were existing lines. The most recent figures we have are 2004. But 85 percent of all the embryonic stem cell research on Earth was conducted using those lines.

There is nothing that makes embryonic stem cell research illegal. It simply says that the federal government will not finance it.

As you know, there are ongoing efforts in some states, including, I think, California and Massachusetts, to use state money for it. And I dare say if people think that there’s a market for it, they’re going to support it handsomely.

The simple answer is he thinks murder’s wrong. And he has said.