by Steven Ertelt
October 21, 2004
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — Christopher Reeve’s wife plans to join Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in a speech today endorsing federal funding for embryonic stem cells and attacking President Bush’s position limiting funding for the unproven research.
Kerry’s campaign told the Associated Press that Diana Reeve approached it with an offer to appear at a speech on Thursday in Columbus, Ohio. The presidential candidates are making numerous stops in the Buckeye State, considered one of a handful that will decide the winner.
Reeve passed away recently after suffering from spinal cord injury complications resulting from a horse riding accident.
Though Christopher Reeve supported embryonic stem cell research, he told Reader’s Digest earlier this year that embryonic stem cells "are not able to do much about chronic injuries."
In the interview, Reeve criticized pro-life advocates for their involvement in the stem cell research debate.
"The religious right has had quite an influence on the debate," he said. "I don’t think that’s appropriate. When we’re setting public policy, no one segment of society deserves the only seat at the table."
Kerry had known Reeve for about 15 years and the former "Superman" actor left Kerry a long telephone message the day before his death.
John Edwards, Kerry’s running mate, caused a controversy days after Reeve’s death when he used the actors passing as a stepping stone to attack President Bush on stem cell research.
"If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve will get up out of that wheelchair and walk again," Edwards said.
Pro-life groups have applauded the president for sticking with his commitment to not fund any new research that involves the destruction of human life. Instead, Bush has spent $190 million on adult stem cell research, which has already produced 140 treatments for patients suffering from a host of diseases and afflictions.
After two decades of study, embryonic stem cell research has yet to cure or treat a single patient.