John Kerry Wants Taxpayers to Fund Research That Destroys Lives

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 13, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John Kerry Wants Taxpayers to Fund Research That Destroys Lives

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 13, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Continuing to violate the pro-life legacy of Ronald Reagan that millions celebrated last week, likely Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry cited the death of the former president in challenging President Bush to lift restrictions on taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research.

Saying that it could lead to cures for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s as Reagan did, Kerry said researchers can only find a cure "if only they are allowed to look."

Ethical questions regarding the research, which destroys the lives of unborn children to obtain their stem cells, can be resolved with "good will and good sense," Kerry said in a radio address.

Kerry said Nancy Reagan "told the world that Alzheimer’s had taken her own husband to a distant place, and then she stood up to help find a breakthrough that someday will spare other husbands, wives, children and parents from the same kind of heartache."

However, two leading researchers on Friday, including a Johns Hopkins University scientist, said less controversial approaches are more likely to find a cure or reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s in the coming years. Using embryonic stem cells may not yield progress for decades, the researchers said.

Scott Stanzel, a Bush re-election campaign spokesman, told the Associated Press that the president favors aggressive research as long as it is conducted "in ways that respect human dignity and help build the culture of life."

"President Bush believes we must advance the promise and cause of medical science, including through ethical stem cell research, yet we must do so in ways that respect human dignity and help build a culture of life," spokeswoman Alison Harden added.
In August 2001, President Bush signed an executive order prohibiting taxpayer funding of any new embryonic stem cell research conducted after that point. Scientists have complained because almost all embryonic stem cells were disqualified from funding.

Kerry said stem cells "have the power to slow the loss of a grandmother’s memory, calm the hand of an uncle with Parkinson’s, save a child from a lifetime of daily insulin shots or permanently lift a best friend from his wheelchair."

But that’s not the case say leading observers. They point to the convulsions patients receiving injections of embryonic stem cells have gone into and say that the use of adult stem cells have shown far greater progress — already curing some diseases and lessening the effects of others.

No patients have yet shown any benefits as a result of the use of embryonic stem cells.