Michael J. Fox Wants House to Back Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 10, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michael J. Fox Wants House to Back Embryonic Stem Cell Research Bill Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 10
, 2007

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Actor Michael J. Fox is weighing in on embryonic stem cell research again. After recording several misleading campaign commercials used against pro-life candidates in the Congressional elections, Fox is renewing his stem cell research advocacy and asking the House to approve a measure forcing taxpayers to fund destructive research.

In a statement that will likely upset pro-life advocates, Fox borrows pro-life language to promote a bill that would make taxpayers fund science that involves killing days-old unborn children.

"Personally, I can’t think of a greater affirmation of the culture of life than to advance the fight against disease by increasing federal funding for biomedical research," he said in the letter.

"You can make a difference by being a co-sponsor and voting ‘yes’ on the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. I urge you with all my heart to support this bill and allow the science to move forward," Fox added.

Despite his involvement, a post-election poll conducted by Fox News found that in the Missouri Senate race, which was dominated by embryonic stem cell research, neither the issue nor ads from Fox helped Claire McCaskill.

In fact, the ads benefited pro-life Sen. Jim Talent, who opposed taxpayer funding of the controversial science.

In the ads, Fox was blasted for telling voters that candidates like Talent didn’t care about cures — but the ads didn’t make much impact.

Fox News asked Missouri voters whether the embryonic stem cell research ad campaign made voters more or less likely to vote for McCaskill, who Fox endorsed in the commercials.

A whopping 71 percent said the ads made "No difference" in their vote.

Only 7 percent said the ads made them more likely to support McCaskill but a larger group of voters, 18 percent, said Fox’s commercials made them less likely to support her.

Of those voters who said it made them less likely to vote for her some 94 percent ended up supporting pro-life Sen. Jim Talent, who opposed embryonic stem cell research funding.

As a result, the Fox ads provided Talent with a 10 percent edge on the issue of stem cell research because they turned off more voters than they encouraged to back McCaskill.

Like Fox, advocates of the grisly research, which has yet to help a single patient and still has major scientific hurdles to overcome, have said President Bush’s refusal to allow taxpayer funding for new embryonic stem cell research is hurting science.

However, the Bush administration has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on stem cell research, with most of the funding going to the use of adult stem cells, which are already treating patients with about 70 different diseases and conditions.

Most recently, the president awarded over $12 million in contracts to stem cell banks that store umbilical cord blood to obtain adult stem cells for research. The Department of Health and Human Services provided contracts for six institutions to expand their inventory and create a diverse national holding of cells.