First Lady Defends President Bush’s Policy on Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 6, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

First Lady Defends President Bush’s Policy on Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 6, 2004

Milwaukee WI ( — Under heavy attack from John Kerry on the issue of stem cell research, President Bush is again getting help from First Lady Laura Bush.

She said Tuesday that the president did not cut off all funding for the research, unlike Kerry and his supporters have claimed, and criticized the Democratic candidate for promising miracle cures that may not happen.

According to an Associated Press report, the First Lady told those attending the rally that her father died from Alzheimer’s and she understood the desire to find cures for debilitating diseases.

"I hope that stem cells find cures and therapies for a myriad of illnesses, but I know that stem cell research doesn’t offer a cure right around the corner and it’s irresponsible to suggest that it does," Bush said at a Wisconsin campaign stop.

Bush said the president has put the federal government squarely behind stem cell research without funding the destruction of human embryos — tiny unborn humans.

"The president’s policy makes it possible for researchers to explore the potential of stem cells while respecting the ethical and moral implications associated with this research," she said, according to AP’s report.

In August 2001, President Bush issued an executive order prohibiting federal funding of any new research that destroys human embryos. However, the Bush administration has spent $190 million funding adult stem cell research.

Laura Bush touted that alternative in her Wisconsin speech.

This isn’t the first time the First Lady has weighed in on the controversial issue.

In August, she called Democratic nominee John Kerry’s criticism "ridiculous" and said that the president’s opponents were making wild assertions about the effectiveness of the unproven research.

Kerry had repeated his claim that President Bush is putting "ideology over science" and again said he would mandate that taxpayers fund the destructive research in one of his first acts if elected president.

"That’s so ridiculous," Laura Bush said in an interview with The Associated Press regarding the claim about Bush’s decision. "It’s one of the myths that start during a campaign."

She told AP that Kerry was trying to turn a sensitive issue into a political football "without saying what’s right. I imagine he knows better."