Nancy Reagan Still Supports Public $ for Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 16, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Nancy Reagan Still Supports Public $ for Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 16, 2005

Washington, DC ( — As she prepares for her first big public event since the death of former President Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan says she continues to support using taxpayer dollars to fund unproven embryonic stem cell research.

In an interview on ABC’s "Good Morning America," Reagan said she and President George W. Bush continue to disagree on the issue of stem cell research.

President Bush put in limits on embryonic stem cell research in place in August 2001 that prevent the use of tax dollars to pay for any new embryonic stem cell research. He said it was wrong to spend public funds on research involving the destruction of human life.

Instead, Bush has spent $190 million on funding of the use of adult stem cells, which come from more ethical sources such as bone marrow and umbilical cord blood.

"That’s his opinion and I think he sincerely believes that," Mrs. Reagan said concerning Bush’s position. "I happen to be of another school."

"You could save millions of lives if you really charged ahead with stem cell," Reagan claimed. "Hopefully, we will."

Reagan’s objections to the president’s policies on the controversial research first came up during the 2004 presidential elections. However, that didn’t keep her from backing Bush over Democratic nominee John Kerry.

Reagan said she was in "full and complete support" of Bush’s re-election bid.

She lobbied the president last May to change his position, saying she believed embryonic stem cells "may [provide our scientists with many answers that for so long have been beyond our grasp."

Pro-life groups oppose such research because it involves the destruction of human life. As scientists extract stem cells from days-old human embryos, they destroy that unique human being’s in the process.

They tout the use of adult stem cells as a more ethical and effective alternative and point to the tremendous success researchers have had in curing patients. So far, adult stem cells have created dozens of cures and treatments for various diseases and conditions while embryonic stem cells have yet to cure a single patient.