Mitt Romney Backs Some Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Opposes Funding

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 6, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mitt Romney Backs Some Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Opposes Funding

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 6,

Washington, DC ( — In a new interview, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney reiterated his position when it comes to embryonic stem cell research. The former governor says he opposes the specific creation and destruction of human life to advance science but he says he would support destroying human embryos from fertility clinics.

Romney spoke with CBS News about his views and said he favors moral stem cell research.

"I’m very much in favor of stem cell research, but in a way which I believe is moral and ethical," he said.

That means he opposes "creating new embryos through embryo farming or through cloning" — which is a practice he finds "unethical ."

Katie Couric conducted the interview and she asked Romney to describe the kind of embryonic stem cell research he might support.

"So what kind of embryos — embryos that are created for procreation and then would be discarded? Are those the ones that you feel are perfectly fine from which to cull cells for stem cell research?" Couric asked.

"Yes," Romney responded, "those embryos that are referred to commonly as surplus embryos from in-vitro fertilization."

Romney said he would first like to see human embryos adopted by families before put up for their destruction. However, he explained how he would have no problem with parents who want to allow those human embryos — unique human beings — to be destroyed for research.

"But if a parent decides they would want to donate one of those embryos for purposes of research, in my view, that’s acceptable," he said. "It should not be made against the law."

At the same time, Romney appeared to side with President Bush in opposing the forcing of taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research that involves the destruction of human life.

"I wouldn’t finance that with government money because it represents a moral challenge for a lot of people and I think we’re better investing in places where the prospects are much better," he said.