New Jersey Candidate for Governor Further Clarifies Stem Cell Stance

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 21, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Jersey Candidate for Governor Further Clarifies Stem Cell Stance Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 21, 2005

Trenton, NJ ( — New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Douglas Forrester has gotten himself in trouble this week by apparently flip-flopping on the issue of embryonic stem cell research. Previously, he opposed it and funding of it. That appears to have changed.

In a debate earlier this week, he said he supports stem cell research and indicated he supports a new kind of embryonic stem cell research that still doesn’t alleviate the moral concerns of pro-life advocates.

On Friday, a spokeswoman for Forrester said he still opposes public funding but does support some embryonic stem cell research, though it hasn’t cured any patients.

"With the state in the financial shape it’s in right now, he doesn’t believe the state should be borrowing money for this," said spokeswoman Sherry Sylvester.

Sylvester told the Associated Press that Forrester does not support using human cloning to create human embryos for research or stem cells, but he does support using unborn children created in fertility clinics for research if they are going to be destroyed anyway.

That’s troubling for Marie Tasy, executive director for New Jersey Right to Life.

"Obviously, it seems like Forrester’s all over the place," Tasy told AP. "I remember during the primary he said he was against embryonic stem cell research, there were no conditions. Then I heard, ‘I’m against funding of it."

Tasy said Forrester is running into problems because he’s trying to appeal to both pro-life advocates and voters who favor embryonic stem cell research.

Forrester’s Democratic rival, Sen. John Corzine, is strongly pro-abortion and has backed a plan to spend $400 million of taxpayer funds to open a state stem cell research institute that would include embryonic stem cell research.

Corzine is criticizing Forrester on his apparent flip-flop in an attempt to solidify his support from those who back the destructive research.