Catholic Bishops Launch Educational Stem Cell Research Ads Nationwide

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 21, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Bishops Launch Educational Stem Cell Research Ads Nationwide Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 21, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Regardless who wins the upcoming presidential election, pro-life groups have their work cut out for them to combat the growing notion that nothing is ethically wrong with embryonic stem cell research and that it could be just as effective as the use of adult stem cells.

In an attempt to debunk both notions, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has launched a two week educational campaign highlighting the controversial issue.

The ads draw a clear distinction between embryonic stem cell research, which involves the destruction of human life and has yet to cure a patient, and adult stem cells, which have produced more than 140 treatments for various diseases and ailments.

"Stem cell research is one of the most important moral issues of our day, but it is also one of the most distorted," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, of the bishop’s pro-life office. "In the public debate, embryo-destructive research has been greatly hyped, while the proven results of ethical adult stem cell research are very nearly ignored."

Ruse said the USCCB’s ads show that adult stem cells are already helping patients who suffer from heart disease, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s and many other diseases.

"Embryonic stem cells, on the other hand, have not helped one single human patient, and they come with a hefty price tag: the deliberate destruction of human life," Ruse said.

"Some say without embryonic stem cells, we are depriving scientists of solutions to debilitating diseased," one ad says. "But after two decades of research, embryonic stem cells have not helped one single human being."

One of the ads features a picture of a newborn baby with the tag line, "Only 270 days ago, Joshua was just an embryo."

The advertisements will appear in the USA Today, The Washington Times and the National Catholic Reporter and have been sent nationwide to dozens of Catholic dioceses for use in their newspapers.

Related web site:
USCCB’s ads –
Stem Cell Research and Human Cloning: Questions and Answers –