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Bush Won't Ease Stem-Cell Limits

June 15, 2004|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The White House rejected calls Monday from Ronald Reagan's family and others to relax President Bush's restrictions on stem-cell research in pursuit of potential cures for illnesses.

Bush signed an executive order in August 2001 limiting federal research funds to 78 existing embryonic stem-cell lines. Because day-old embryos are destroyed when stem cells are extracted, the process is opposed by some conservatives who link it to abortion.

Nancy Reagan has long argued that using stem cells from embryos could lead to cures for a number of diseases like the Alzheimer's that afflicted her husband. Bush opposes using embryos for stem-cell research.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush continued to think that his policy was the right one.

"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 he set," McClellan said. "And I think he articulated his reasons for arriving at that decision. And that is his position, and that remains his position."

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