Ronald Reagan’s Son To Back Embryonic Research at Democratic Convention

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

Ronald Reagan’s Son To Back Embryonic Research at Democratic Convention

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 13, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Ron Reagan, son of recently deceased president Ronald Reagan, is scheduled to speak during a prime time slot at the Democratic national convention where John Kerry will receive the party’s nomination for president. His speech, touting embryonic stem cell research, is drawing concerns from pro-life advocates who say that it is a further violation of President Reagan’s pro-life legacy.

Ron Reagan has been critical of President Bush’s August 2001 policy preventing taxpayer funding of any new embryonic stem cell research.

Though he has other concerns with the Bush administration, and spoke against his father’s administration when he was in office, the speech will only focus on the unproven research that pro-life advocates oppose because it destroys the life of unique human beings in their earliest days.

"If they had asked me to say a few words about throwing George Bush out of office, I wouldn’t do it,” Reagan told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "This gives me a platform to educate people about stem cell research.”

Pro-life groups say that the speech is a further violation of President Reagan’s pro-life legacy. As president, Reagan took a strongly pro-life position and oppose research that destroys the lives of unborn children.

"This use of Ronald Reagan’s memory to promote policies he vigorously opposed during his presidency is a gross failure in simple honesty," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said. "As President, Ronald Reagan never compromised his belief that life begins at conception and should be granted full protections under the law."

Ron Reagan’s stance mirrors that taken by Nancy Reagan, but stands in contrast with the position of Michael Reagan, President Reagan’s other son.

Michael Reagan, a board member of the Alzheimer’s Foundation, has defended his father’s pro-life record passionately and said he and his father "have been long time foes of this process of manufacturing human beings."

The Kerry presidential campaign is delighted the younger Reagan will speak to convention goers.

"Ron Reagan’s courageous pleas for stem cell research add a powerful voice to the millions of Americans hoping for cures for their children, for their parents and for their grandparents,” Kerry spokesman David Wade told the Associated Press.

But Perkins and Michael Reagan say the media have been ignoring President Reagan’s pro-life beliefs and purposefully downplaying the effectiveness of noncontroversial adult stem cell research.

"Using the widely promoted and thoroughly discredited argument that stem cell research can lead to a cure of Alzheimer’s disease, the media and proponents of stem cell research have suggested that had the research been done a long time ago, my dad might have avoided the ordeal he endured," Michael Reagan explains. "This is junk science at its worst."

"Science has proven that embryonic stem cell research has not delivered one successful cure and deliberately kills human life in the process," Perkins added. "Adult stem cell science, however, has thousands of cures and is completely ethical.