Michael Reagan Challenges John Kerry to Stem Cell Research Debate

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 11, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michael Reagan Challenges John Kerry to Stem Cell Research Debate Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 11, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Radio personality Michael Reagan, son of President Ronald Reagan, has challenged Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry to a debate on the topic of stem cell research.

Reagan sent a letter to Debra DeShong, a top Kerry campaign advisor asking Kerry to debate him on the issue either on his nationally syndicated radio show or at a location of Kerry’s choosing.

The Kerry campaign did not return a request for comment on the letter from LifeNews.com.

Both Reagan and Kerry have been at the forefront of the national debate over stem cell research.

Kerry has questioned President Bush’s position in opposition to federal funding of new embryonic stem cell research that destroys the lives of human embryos. Bush has funded research using adult stem cells with $190 million from the National Institutes of Health.

Reagan told NewsMax.com he takes issue with the language Kerry has used to describe Bush’s policy. Kerry claims Bush is "sacrificing science for extreme right-wing ideology."

"John Kerry is lying, and the media [are] letting him get away with it," Reagan told NewsMax.

Reagan was thrust into the national spotlight earlier this year when his father, the former president, passed away after battling with Alzheimer’s disease. He disagreed with Nancy Reagan and Ron Reagan, the president’s other son, on the issue.

Nancy has advocated for increased taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research and Ron all but told Democrats at the party’s national convention to vote for Kerry, though Ron admitted in an interview that embryonic stem cells would not likely ever cure Alzheimer’s.

Michael Reagan, a longtime member of the board of directors of the John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation, said adult stem cells have already proven more effective than embryonic stem cells in clinical trials.

"Cord blood stem cells are 90 percent effective in sickle cell anemia, they are effective in leukemia, [and] in lymphomas," Reagan explained.

He told NewsMax that adult stem cell research is "getting short shrift because Kerry and his allies in the media want to argue about embryonic stem cell research when there are adult stem cells and cord blood cells which are in fact helping to save lives right now."