Michael Reagan Will Address Republican Convention on Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 12, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michael Reagan Will Address Republican Convention on Stem Cell Research

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 12, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Another of President Ronald Reagan’s sons will have an opportunity to address a national audience at a political convention. Republican officials have confirmed that pro-life advocate Michael Reagan will speak at the upcoming convention in New York later this month.

Last month, Ron Reagan told Democratic Party loyalists to "vote for embryonic stem cell research" in a speech that touted the unproven research.

After President Reagan passed away, advocates of embryonic stem cell research piggybacked their message onto his death, saying that such research could benefit others who suffer from diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

However, Michael Reagan, a board member of the John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation in California, said his father would have opposed the research and paying for it with taxpayer funds. He accused the media of making it seem that wasn’t the case.

"The media continues to report that the Reagan ‘family’ is in favor of [embryonic] stem cell research, when the truth is that two members of the family have been long time foes of this process of manufacturing human beings — my dad, Ronald Reagan during his lifetime, and I," Michael Reagan wrote in an editorial.

"Moreover, 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 explained. "This is junk science at its worst."

Pro-life groups are delighted at the decision. Shortly after Ron Reagan’s speech, they had asked GOP officials to invite Michael Reagan to the convention.

"Republicans need to invite President Reagan’s other son, Michael, to deliver a prime time address at their convention in order to reiterate the truth about President Reagan — that he was unabashedly pro-life, believing that life begins at conception," Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said last month.

In an interview following Ron Reagan’s speech, Michael said he wasn’t surprised his brother spoke at the Democratic convention.

Ron Reagan "really doesn’t want George Bush re-elected, and this became an issue that he could use for the Democrat convention," Michael told CBS News.

Michael Reagan says many scientists doubt that embryonic stem cells can be used to cure a range of diseases. He cited Ronald McKay, a stem cell researcher at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, in his piece.

"People need a fairy tale," McKay recently told the Washington Post.

McKay said those who are afflicted with or have family members afflicted with various diseases need some sort of hope and advocates of using embryonic stem cells have played on those hopes to gain support for their research.

"Note to the media," Michael Reagan wrote in his editorial, "Next time you write about the ‘family,’ remember both dad and me. It’s our family too."

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