John Kerry Continues to Denounce Bush Policy on Embryonic Stem Cells

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 26, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John Kerry Continues to Denounce Bush Policy on Embryonic Stem Cells

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 26, 2004

Boston, MA ( — Leading up the Democratic Party’s national convention, presidential candidate John Kerry continues to denounce President Bush’s policy against taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research that destroys human life.

In a Florida interview, Kerry said a new president is needed who ”believes in science," according to an Associated Press report.

”We need to push the curve of discovery,” Kerry said. ”We need a president who believes in science and who’s prepared to invest America’s efforts to cure Parkinson’s and AIDS and diabetes and Alzheimer’s and do stem cell research.”

But representatives of the president say Bush won’t back down from ensuring that tax dollars don’t pay for research that destroys human life.

"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," Bush spokesman Scott McClellan has said.

"The president doesn’t believe we should be creating life for the sole purpose of destroying life," McClellan explained.

Bush favors the use of adult stem cells, taken from ethical sources, that have proven more effective in clinical trials.

Meanwhile, vice-presidential candidate John Edwards, a North Carolina senator is backs abortion, is also getting into the fray.

"We believe there’s more work to be done … not presently being done," Edwards said on Monday, according to an AP report.

"There’s obvious limits on what can be done," Edwards said, "but at the edges, it’s one of those things where we have to make difficult judgments about how far we can go and where the restrictions belong."

Kerry remarks come just one day before a son of President Reagan is prepared to deliver remarks on the issue. Ron Reagan has made no secret of his opposition to Bush’s policy against funding the unproven research.

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

Kerry recently attached his name to a "clone and kill" bill in the Senate that pro-life organizations oppose because it allows scientists to clone unborn children only to be killed to obtain their stem cells for use in research.

In June, two leading researchers, 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.

Dr. D.G. McKay, a stem cell researcher at the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke, has called the promises of miracle cures from embryonic stem cells a "fairy tale."