PROVIDENCE— Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts today issued the following statement on President Bush’s veto of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007, legislation that would have eased the current federal restrictions on stem cell research.
“I am deeply disappointed at President Bush’s decision to veto the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, a piece of legislation that had strong bipartisan support in Congress and would have given hope to millions of Americans who suffer from the most debilitating and life-threatening diseases of our time. By expanding access to embryonic stem cell lines and imposing strict ethical guidelines for conducting stem cell research, this critical legislation would have loosened the reins on our country’s most brilliant scientific minds to pursue life-changing medical therapies and cures.
“I believe strongly that the potential human and economic benefits of stem cell research for Americans are too great to be ignored. As a nation, we stand at the threshold of incredible advances in medicine, and as the leader of our country, President Bush is making a grave mistake in turning his back on these scientific advancements and breakthroughs.”
In April, Lt. Gov. Roberts released a report that called on Rhode Island to take immediate action to define what form stem cell research should take in the state. Roberts’ report, entitled “Discovering Rhode Island’s Stem Cell Future: Charting the Course Toward Health and Prosperity” is available electronically on Roberts’ website at www.ltgov.ri.gov.
In the coming months, Roberts plans on working closely with the House Regenerative Medicine and Research Advisory Study Commission, scientists, researchers, doctors, members of the business community, faculty from Rhode Island’s colleges and universities and concerned members of the public to form answers to these essential policy questions, undertake a thoughtful and deliberate discussion of stem cell research and regenerative medicine, and develop a blueprint for action.