Sam Brownback Lobbying John McCain on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 31, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Sam Brownback Lobbying John McCain on Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
Printer friendly page

RSS Newsfeed

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 31,

Washington, DC ( — In an interview with on Thursday, pro-life Sen. Sam Brownback said Republican presidential candidate John McCain is doing some re-examining of his position on embryonic stem cell research. In light of new advances in ethical forms of the science, McCain is grappling with the controversial topic.

With victories in South Carolina and Florida and a lead in the polls as almost two dozen states head to Super Tuesday, more political observers say John McCain is the likely Republican nominee.

McCain opposes abortion, but pro-life advocates are concerned about his votes to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research.

Brownback told, "I’ve hit him up on that hard and hit his campaign up on that hard with the breakthrough of reprogramming skin cells."

"His language has changed although his position has not on this," Brownback said, implying that McCain has absorbed some of the latest news on ethical forms of stem cell research yielding embryonic-like stem cells.

Brownback said he has impressed upon McCain the point that new scientific advances make it less necessary to do embryonic stem cell research, "but he hasn’t come to the point that he will uphold President Bush’s stance."

"His language has changed on it, but we’ll keep working on him," Brownback told

He said he was hopeful that more success in ethical stem cell research will continue to shape McCain’s position and that of Americans on the topic.

"Look, this issue from a scientific standpoint — I think we’ve resolved it," the Kansas senator added. "I think we’re winning on the science and I think we’re headed to more adult and ethical stem cell research."

At a Florida campaign stop last week, McCain defended his position favoring embryonic stem cell research funding and talked about how he arrived at it.

“All I can say to you is that I went back and forth, back and forth on it and I came in on one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had, in favor of that research," he said.

"And one reason being very frankly is those embryos will be either discarded or kept in permanent frozen status," he explained.

“I understand how divisive this is among the pro-life community," McCain added.

As Brownback indicated, McCain explained to the audience how he hopes that the science will advance to the point that embryonic stem cell research is unnecessary.