by Steven Ertelt
September 17, 2007
Aiken, SC (LifeNews.com) — Campaigning in South Carolina, Republican presidential candidate John McCain reaffirmed his support for embryonic stem cell research. Pro-life groups have been upset with the Arizona senator for years because he has voted repeatedly to require taxpayers to fund the research, which involves the destruction of human life.
"It’s very tough for those of us in the pro-life community," McCain told reporters. "I’ve come down on the side of support for embryonic stem cell research."
McCain told an audience that, after deep prayer and reflection on the issue, he decided to support the controversial science because of its potential to end diseases.
However, pro-life advocates point out that embryonic stem cell research has yet to cure any patients and has no therapies that are even in the trial stage. That’s because it has had a host of problems in animals, such as immune system rejection issues.
On the other hand, the use of adult stem cells has already helped patients with more than 70 different diseases and conditions.
On the GOP side, Senators Sam Brownback of Kansas and John McCain of Arizona were the only presidential candidates voting on the Congressional embryonic stem cell research funding bill in April.
Brownback not only voted against the embryonic funding bill but he was the leading senator on the floor debating against it. He said he strongly supports adult stem cell research which as been the only kind to actually help patients.
Looking at other candidates, Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, and Ron Paul have all voted against funding. Newer candidates Fred Thompson and Alan Keyes oppose the research while Rudy Giuliani supports it.
Mike Huckabee has said he opposes it as has Mitt Romney, but the latter backs it when it involves the use of so-called "leftover" human embryos. Most of the destruction of human life associated with the research involves those embryos.
Looking at the Democratic side, Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, the two leaders, both voted for the embryonic funding bill.
They were joined in voting for the bill by Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware and would have had Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut with them for the bill as well but was absent from the Senate for the vote.
Former Senator John Edwards also backs embryonic stem cell research.