Nancy Reagan Lobbies Bush to Fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 10, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Nancy Reagan Lobbies Bush to Fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 10, 2004

Hollywood, CA ( — Though her views may be in conflict with the position her husband would have taken were he president, former first lady Nancy Reagan, over the weekend, spoke in favor of destructive embryonic stem cell research. Reagan has been lobbying President Bush to reverse his policy prohibiting funding of any new research involving embryonic stem cells.

Nancy Reagan pointed to former President Ronald Reagan’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease as what has compelled her to stand up for embryonic stem cell research and federal funding for it.

Nancy Reagan first took the position in favor of the research three years ago, though she has been careful not to criticize President Bush directly.

"Ronnie’s long journey has finally taken him to a distant place where I can no longer reach him," she said, according to an AP report. "Because of this I’m determined to do whatever I can to save other families from this pain."

"I just don’t see how we can turn our backs on this," Reagan added. "We have lost so much time already. I just really can’t bear to lose any more."

She said she believed embryonic stem cells "may provide our scientists with many answers that for so long have been beyond our grasp," the BBC reported. "Science has presented us with a hope called stem-cell research."

Pro-life groups oppose such research because it involves the destruction of human life. As scientists extract stem cells from days-old human embryos, they destroy that unique human being in the process.

They tout the use of adult stem cells as a more ethical and effective alternative and point to the tremendous success researchers have had in curing patients or minimizing the effects of diseases with adult stem cells.

Reagan was introduced at the awards ceremony by Michael J. Fox, an actor who has been one of the leading promoters of funding of the destructive research.

The event, sponsored by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, was expected to raise $2 million for lobbying and research efforts. it is part of $20 million the group is hoping to obtain.

Celebrities including Dustin Hoffman and Larry King attended the event.