John Kerry Aide Misrepresents His Position on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 20, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John Kerry Aide Misrepresents His Position on Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 20, 2004

Washington, DC ( — In an interview with the Associated Press, a campaign staffer for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry misrepresented his position on embryonic stem cell research.

Commenting on a story about a group of scientists who want Kerry and President Bush to participate in a town hall forum on the subject of embryonic stem cell research, staffer Sarah Bianchi misstated Kerry’s position.

Bianchi told AP that Kerry is "’absolutely not” suggesting creating embryos for the sole purpose of research."

However, in July, Kerry attached his name to a bill, the Human Cloning Ban and Stem Cell Research Protection Act (S. 303), that specifically allows scientists to create human embryos so their embryonic stem cells can be extracted. The process kills the days-old unborn child.

Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee called Bianchi’s statement "brazen disinformation."

"Kerry one moth ago cosponsored the bill to allow the mass creation of human embryos by cloning, for the sole purpose of using them in research that will kill them," Johnson told

"Indeed, the bill makes it a federal offense to allow such a cloned human embryo to develop past 14 days," Johnson explained.

Bianchi did not return two messages left for her by requesting comment.

The legislation Kerry sponsored was introduced in February 2003 and the last senator to cosponsor the bill, Vermont’s Jim Jeffords, attached his name to the legislation over a year ago.

Kerry has been using the issue of embryonic stem cell research to paint Bush as a religious extremist and claims his pro-life views prevent patients with various diseases from obtaining potentially beneficial treatments that scientists say are many years away.

To pro-life advocates, that may explain why Kerry suddenly signed on to legislation that has been sitting for over a year and isn’t expected to receive a Senate vote anytime soon.

President Bush and pro-life groups support a competing bill sponsored by Kansas Republican Sam Brownback.

Senator Brownback’s legislation bans both forms of human cloning — reproductive and so-called therapeutic cloning for research.