Americans Not Pleased With Bush’s Stem Cell Veto

In a USA Today/Gallup Poll taken two days after Bush
vetoed HR 810, a bill that would have opened up federal funding for embryonic stemcell research, the President’s approval rating dropped to 37 percent (down 3 points from two weeks earlier).

It also found that just 36 percent agreed with Bush’s decision to veto the bill, while 58 percent disapproved.

Confronted with these numbers, White House Deputy Press Secretary Ken Lisaius yesterday responded thusly:

“The president does not make policy decisions based on
polling numbers. … He vetoed the legislation because it would provide
federal tax dollars to fund the present and future destruction of human life for research.”

A third of those polled said Bush vetoed the bill for for political gain, by the way. But what of the inestimable gain to those suffering from diseases that stem cell research has the potential to mitigate or cure? Bush’s decision limits stem cell research to only the 22 lines in
existence before Bush’s ban five years ago
. To put this in perspective,
just 3 percent of the half million embryos currently in storage could create up to 275 new lines, keeping research labs busy for decades to come.

Several states have taken matters into their own hands — Maryland,
Massachusetts and Connecticut have all allocated funds. However, New Jersey and Illinois are currently the only states doing actual research on new
embryonic stem cell lines. In California, where voters approved $3 billion
in 2004 for funding of ESCR, not a penny has gone to research — thanks to
James Dobson’s Focus on the
, an affiliate of which has the state locked in a court battle.
Last year, Dobson likened embryonic stem cell research to Nazi eugenics experiments conducted on live humans.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.