Actor Attacks President Bush on Stem Cell Research, Backs John Kerry

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 29, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Actor Attacks President Bush on Stem Cell Research, Backs John Kerry Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 29, 2004

Miami, FL ( — Michael J. Fox is an actor, a Parkinson’s disease victim and an advocate pushing for federal funding of unproven embryonic stem cell research. Now, he can add one more item to his resume — political activist.

In a recent interview with the Miami Herald, Fox says he’s actively stumping for John Kerry because President Bush has limited federal funding of research using embryonic stem cells.

Fox likens Bush’s limits to giving someone a car with no gas in the tank.

”But he’s congratulating himself on giving us the car, so we sit there stuck,” Fox told the Herald. "One doesn’t have to be cynical to take a dim view of that and be frustrated by that.”

In August 2001, President Bush issued an executive order prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for any new research conducted by destroying human embryos for their stem cells. Instead, the Bush administration has spend $190 million funding adult stem cell research, which has shown positive results thus far.

"You won’t find a big long track record of me being political," Fox admitted to the Herald. However, when it comes to the presidential election, he doesn’t mince words in terms of who he supports.

Borrowing heavily from rhetoric from Democratic nominee John Kerry, Fox told a group of stem cell research activists that Bush "made the wrong choices when it comes to stem-cell research and . . . let ideology, not science, guide his decision-making. I believe this was a grave mistake.”

However, polls show that a strong majority of Americans disagree with Kerry’s position on the destructive research.

A joint survey sponsored by the University of Texas Health Science Center and Zogby International found that 55 percent of Americans say it is not "ethical" to conceive a human embryo specifically to be killed for stem cells to use to save someone else’s life.

An August poll conducted by International Communications Research showed similar results.

The ICR poll revealed that Americans overwhelmingly (80 to 13 percent) oppose the position taken by Kerry that human cloning should be allowed to create human embryos for destructive research purposes.

In July, Kerry attached his name to a bill (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.

Despite his position in favor of embryonic stem cell research, Fox said he can understand those with "a real fundamental, faith-based or ethical concern about it. I respect that to the point of going to war to defend it.”