Mitt Romney Needs Embryonic Stem Cell Research Education, Pro-Life Leader Says

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 12, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mitt Romney Needs Embryonic Stem Cell Research Education, Pro-Life Leader Says Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 12,

Washington, DC ( — A leading pro-life advocate says Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney needs more education on the topic of embryonic stem cell research. Comments from Wendy Wright, the head of Concerned Women for America, come after Romney gave an interview saying he favors some of the controversial science.

Last week, reported on a Romney interview where the former Massachusetts governor said he would oppose the specific creation and destruction of human life but supports destroying human embryos from fertility clinics.

Romney spoke with CBS News about his views and host Katie Couric 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."

In comments given to the Cybercast News Service, Wright said his response indicate Romney "shows a need for more education."

Wright also told CNS News she doesn’t think Romney is putting forward a consistently pro-life position on embryonic stem cell research.

"Human life should be treated as sacred and that includes the youngest of humans," she said. "There needs to be a consistent application of the belief in the sanctity of human life."

Wright said Romney was making a mistake in trying to find a middle ground between supporting and opposing the destruction of human life for research.

"I’m not sure it will gain him any ground on either side — certainly not from those who respect human life, especially from the recent scientific advances [showing] that embryonic stem cells can be obtained without destroying embryos," Wright said.

Wright added that embryonic stem cell research is unnecessary given the success of adult stem cells and alternative techniques in obtaining or creating embryonic stem cells.

CNS News also interviewed Romney spokesman Alex Burgos who reiterated Romney’s positions as the candidate stated them for CBS.

"Gov. Romney supports adult stem cell research, but opposes the creation of embryos for research," he said. "He does not believe the public should pay for research that is ethically troublesome."

"With new promising research techniques developing that do not destroy embryos, Governor Romney believes that we can bring science and ethics together to promote life, protect life and save lives," Burgos added.