Michael J. Fox Records Stem Cell Research Ad for John Kerry, Blasting Bush

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 7, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michael J. Fox Records Stem Cell Research Ad for John Kerry, Blasting Bush Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 7, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Actor Michael J. Fox has filmed an ad for Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry that strongly criticizes President Bush’s position on stem cell research.

"John Kerry strongly supports stem cell research. George Bush is putting limits on it," Fox says in an ad that the Kerry campaign released Thursday.

"Stem cell research can help millions of Americans whose lives have been touched by devastating illnesses. George Bush says we can wait. I say lives are at stake and it’s time for leadership. That’s why I support John Kerry for president."

Brian Jones, a Bush spokesman, told the Associated Press that the ad inaccurately describes what the president has done on the issue by claiming his has limited stem cell research in general.

He said the president was the first to allow funding for stem cell research.

In August 2001, President Bush issued an executive order preventing taxpayer funding of the destruction of any new human embryos for stem cells for research. The president also authorized $190 million for research using adult stem cells from more ethical sources such as umbilical cord blood.

Kerry has said he will spend $100 million in taxpayer funds for unproven embryonic stem cell research. Pro-life groups oppose it because it has failed in clinical trials and because it involves the destruction of human life in its earliest stages.

Scientists say advocates for embryonic stem cell research are overselling it with false claims about how it can help people with a myriad of illnesses.

Dr. D.G. McKay, a stem cell researcher at the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke, has called the promises of miracle cures from embryonic stem cells a "fairy tale."

Dr. Louis M. Kunkel, director of the Children’s Hospital’s genomics program reminded other researchers at a meeting in August that cures from embryonic stem cell research, if they come about, could be decades away.

Kunkel reminded his colleagues about a major genetic breakthrough in muscular dystrophy research in 1990. He remembers telling associates that annual the annual telethon fundraiser would no longer be necessary.

"I can’t believe I ever said that," said Kunkel. "We really can’t mislead the public about where these things are and what it’s going to take. It’s going to take a long time."

Fox filmed the ad after stumping with Kerry in New Hampshire earlier this week. Fox has been in Florida and the northeastern state in recent days bashing Bush and saying Kerry would be better on the controversial issue.

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