Democrats Use Stem Cell Research to Attack Pro-Life Republicans

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 26, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Democrats Use Stem Cell Research to Attack Pro-Life Republicans Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 26, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Democratic candidates for Congress and party insiders in Washington supporting them plan to use the issue of stem cell research during the 2006 election cycle to attack pro-life Republican candidates who oppose research that destroys human life.

Taking a page from the John Kerry presidential campaign, the candidates and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which raises millions of dollars and runs television commercials for them, will bash pro-life candidates who oppose embryonic stem cell research.

A Congressional race in northern New Jersey illustrates the planned tactic.

Republican Rep. Michael Ferguson, who is pro-life, faces a challenge from state Rep. Linda Stender, who backs the unproven research.

"I think he is completely wrong on this issue and he is out of step with the overwhelming number of people in this district and this state," Stender told Knight-Ridder News in comments blasting Ferguson. "It’s consistent with his right-wing ideology, and he is hurting families."

However, Ferguson represents a district with significant portions of the health care industry and he personally watched his mother survive six years of bone cancer thanks to scientific advancements.

"I just think efforts to politicize this issue are misguided and will ultimately be unsuccessful," he told Knight-Ridder.

Still Democrats are pressing on with the attacks, even though embryonic stem cell research has never helped cure a single patient and may never be able to do so.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, an Illinois congressman who heads the DCCC, will soon head to New Jersey to campaign with Stender on the issue. The DCCC has also launched Internet ads targeting Ferguson and six other pro-life Republican candidates who oppose using embryonic stem cells.

The ads are designed to help candidates like Ed Perlmutter, running in a Denver-area district, who told Knight-Ridder that pro-life elected officials "could care less for everyday folks out there" because they oppose the unproven research.

Pro-life advocates oppose embryonic stem cell research because the process to obtain the stem cells destroys the days-old unborn child. They favor the use of adult stem cells, which come from a variety of ethical sources and have already produced treatments for dozens of diseases and conditions.