John Kerry: President Bush’s Policy on Embryonic Stem Cell Research "Extremist"

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

John Kerry: President Bush’s Policy on Embryonic Stem Cell Research "Extremist" Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 4, 2004

Hampton, NH ( — Just days after he criticized President Bush in the first presidential debate, John Kerry continued to relentlessly attack the president on his decision to limit taxpayer funding of unproven embryonic stem cell research.

Campaigning in New Hampshire, the Democratic presidential nominee said Bush "is making the wrong choice to sacrifice science for extreme right-wing ideology."

According to an Associated Press report, Kerry called Bush’s decision "a far-reaching ban on federal funding for stem cell research, tying the hands of our scientists, driving some of them away from America.”

But the Bush campaign says the president did not ban funding for all embryonic stem cell research — pointing to $190 million dollars in federal funds from the National Institutes for Health for research involving adult stem cells.

Prior to the Bush administration, the federal government did not spend any money advancing stem cell research.

"John Kerry has made a repeated effort to mislead the press and the public on the reality of the new federal funding for stem cell research that the President announced in August 2001," the Bush campaign said in a statement.

The Bush campaign criticized the media for adopting the language Kerry and running mate John Edwards have used.

"Numerous media outlets have adopted their language, referring to the President’s new funding as a ban," the Bush campaign said. "These characterizations are inaccurate or incomplete, and misinform the public on the reality of the policy."

Actor Michael J. Fox, a Parkinson’s disease sufferer who has repeatedly blasted the president on the issue, joined Kerry at the New Hampshire campaign stop.

Kerry, who promises $100 million for embryonic stem cell research funding, accused President Bush in the first presidential debate of not telling the truth about embryonic stem cell research.

During Thursday night’s presidential debate, John Kerry said he would avoid attacking President Bush’s character when following up a question Bush received from moderator Jim Lehrer.
"I’m not going to talk about a difference of character. I don’t think that’s my job or my business," the Democratic candidate said.

That didn’t stop Kerry from blasting the president on the issue of using human embryos in research.

"He’s not acknowledging the truth of the science of stem-cell research," Kerry said.