Nancy Reagan Backs President Bush Despite Stem Cell Research Divide

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 4, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Nancy Reagan Backs President Bush Despite Stem Cell Research Divide

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 4, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Nancy Reagan has been vocal in her opposition of President Bush’s policy prohibiting federal funding of any new embryonic stem cell research. However, that isn’t stopping her from endorsing the president’s re-election.

Yesterday, a Reagan spokeswoman said she is in "full and complete support" of Bush’s re-election.

Reagan spokeswoman Joanne Drake also told on Monday that, "Mrs. Reagan supports President Bush’s re-election 150 percent."

"I think everyone would understand that while she may not agree with the president on every issue, this campaign is more than just one issue — it’s about leadership, and she believes that President Bush is the right man for the job," Drake explained.

While Reagan likely won’t appear at the upcoming Republican National Convention, Drake said that the former first lady hasn’t ruled out campaigning on Bush’s behalf.

"She’s taking it one day at a time right now. We’ll see," Drake told the Associated Press. "She will certainly want to help but there are no plans right now."

The statements come on the heels of an erroneous press report stating that Reagan would oppose Bush because of his stance on embryonic stem cell research.

In May, Nancy Reagan lobbied Bush to reverse his policy.

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.