Bush Firm on Stem Cell Policy
Tuesday, June 15, 2004; Page A02
The White House rejected calls yesterday from Ronald Reagan's family and others to relax President Bush's restrictions on stem cell research.
Bush signed an executive order in August 2001 that limited federal help to financing stem cell research on 78 embryonic stem cell lines then in existence. Because day-old embryos are destroyed when stem cells are extracted, the process is opposed by some conservatives who link it to abortion.
Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry and 57 other senators had asked Bush to relax the restrictions. Nancy Reagan has argued that the research could lead to cures for diseases such as the Alzheimer's that afflicted her husband.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, "The president came up with a policy that will allow us to explore the promise of stem cell research, and do so in a way that doesn't cross a certain moral threshold. . . . That remains his position."
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