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Fact Sheet: Valuing Life Through Embryo Adoption and Ethical Stem Cell Research

May 24, 2005

Today's Presidential Action

Today, President Bush Will Deliver Remarks On Embryo Adoption And Ethical Stem Cell Research Policy At The White House. To recognize this life-affirming alternative, the President will meet with 21 families that have adopted children as embryos and will reiterate his opposition to using taxpayer money to promote research that takes life.

Background: Embryo Adoption And Ethical Stem Cell Research

President Bush Supports Embryo Adoption As A Life-Affirming Alternative. Embryo adoption provides an option for the survival and development of embryos frozen in fertility clinics, giving them a chance at life and giving infertile couples the opportunity to build a family.

  • Frozen Embryos Do Not Have To Be Destroyed In Research Or Discarded. There are alternatives to destroying or discarding embryos stored after fertility treatment. They can be donated for adoption to other couples through efforts like the Snowflakes Frozen Embryo Adoption program, which has connected donating families with adoptive families, resulting in the birth of 81 children to date with more on the way.
  • The President Supports Efforts To Increase Public Awareness Of Embryo Adoption. Administration officials have voiced support of embryo adoption and have worked to inform doctors and infertile couples of this option. In 2002, President Bush signed a bill granting $1 million per year for HHS grants to publicize embryo adoption programs.

Embryo Adoption Shows The Human Face Behind The Debate On Stem Cell Research. The debate over government funding of embryonic stem cell research is not just about science. It is about human life.

  • Taxpayer Money Should Not Promote Research That Destroys Life. While the President's policy does not ban, limit, or restrict stem cell research of any kind, it does not provide federal funding for stem cell research that would require the destruction of human embryos.
  • Other Kinds Of Stem Cell Research Hold Great Promise Without Ethical Concerns. Stem cell research involving blood from umbilical cords or adult bone marrow has already led to medical advances and offers enormous potential for many more. Such research never requires the destruction of human life. In addition, researchers are exploring ways to obtain the same kind of cells now derived from embryos without harming or taking life.
  • President Bush Delivered The First Ever Federal Funding For Embryonic Stem Cell Research. From 2001 to 2004, the Administration provided $54 million for human embryonic stem cell research pursued within clear moral bounds. During this same period of time, federal funding for non-embryonic stem cell research exceeded $1.7 billion.
  • Many Opportunities For Stem Cell Research Exist. Seventy-eight derivations of human embryonic stem cells have been found eligible for federal funding. With federal funding, scientists are developing these lines; so far, 22 have been made available as fully developed lines. Because stem cell lines replicate themselves, eligible lines can be used by many individual researchers. Hundreds of experiments are underway at facilities around the country.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: Valuing Life Through Embryo Adoption and Ethical Stem Cell Research Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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