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A Reply To Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute
Re. Bush's Veto of Stem Cell Bill

Lester S. Garrett

Ayn Rand Institute Press Release

Bush Vetoes Medical Progress
July 20, 2006

IRVINE, CA--"President Bush’s veto of a bill to remove restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research is immoral," said Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute.

"It is revealing that Bush has used his first veto to oppose potentially life-saving research in the name of the dogma that microscopic embryos are sacred.  Clearly, Bush and other ‘compassionate conservatives’ are not concerned with the well-being of humans, but with sacrificing them to clumps of cells in the name of religion.  Such opposition is rooted in the perverse worship of human suffering.

"Anyone who truly cares about human life must condemn this religious assault on medical progress."

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While I agree with Dr. Brook’s condemnation of the President’s reason for vetoing the bill, I’m puzzled.  Dr. Brook’s statement fails to mention that this bill should have been vetoed; worse, his phrasing almost seems to suggest that government funding of such research is proper.  The ambiguity arises from Dr. Brook’s opening one-sentence paragraph in which he wrongly condemns the veto (the correct action), rather than the reasoning behind it (the wrong justification).

I am saddened that Dr. Brook failed to take advantage of this opportunity to emphasize an equally important issue:  that despite the erroneous justification offered by the President, the bill itself was improper and deserved to be vetoed.  For as every Objectivist should know, funding such research is not a proper function of government; that should be left to the private sector.

Lester S. Garrett
21 July 2006

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