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Roberts, nine lieutenant governors petition President Bush to reverse his stem cell veto

PROVIDENCE—Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts led her fellow lieutenant governors from across the country this week in petitioning President George W. Bush to reverse his stem cell position and ease the current federal ban on embryonic stem cell research funding.

“The ravages of diseases like Parkinson’s, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and cancer, and the suffering of spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, affect millions of our fellow Americans,” Lt. Gov. Roberts wrote. “Stem cell research promises to make incredible advances in treating and even curing these diseases and injuries. Had you signed S.5, scientists and researchers would have been able to pursue treatments and cures using new, healthy stem cell lines under strict ethical guidelines…Stem cell research is our future, Mr. President. We urge you to change your position and move our country forward.”

The letter to the president, authored by Lt. Gov. Roberts, has nine signatories, including: Lt. Gov. David A. Patterson (NY), Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (CA), Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn (IL), Lt. Gov. Patty Judge (IA), Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray (MA), Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton (WI), Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (NM), Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson (KS) and Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien (CO). The entire text of the letter is attached.

Lt. Gov. Roberts stands at the forefront of efforts to move stem cell research forward here in Rhode Island. 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

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. Together, they will work to form answers to essential policy questions, undertake a thoughtful and deliberate discussion of stem cell research and regenerative medicine, and develop a blueprint for stem cell action here in Rhode Island.


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