John McCain Open to Pro-Life Perspective on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 14, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John McCain Open to Pro-Life Perspective on Embryonic Stem Cell Research Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 14
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Though he has a pro-life stance on abortion, John McCain’s votes for embryonic stem cell research funding have given some pro-life people pause. Yet, a pro-life Arizona attorney who has spoken with the senator on the subject says McCain is excited about alternatives and agrees with the pro-life movement on some aspects of the debate.

McCain, an Arizona lawmaker, has already earned the support of numerous pro-life advocates because of his abortion opposition.

Some of them, such as Sen. Sam Brownback, say they’ve tried to persuade McCain to oppose embryonic stem cell research as well.

Former Arizona Right to Life president John Jakubczyk recently commented on McCain’s position and said the senator is impressed by the success of embryonic alternatives.

"This issue has been a concern and I have discussed the subject personally with the Senator on more than one occasion," Jakubczyk says.

"I have asked him to realize that these are unborn human beings, to examine the recent breakthroughs in the field and to understand the scientific and moral significance of these latest trends," he explained.

"While he has not come completely around, it is my hope that his staff has and will continue to provide him with the latest information so that he can fully appreciate our position," Jakubczyk added. "I suspect that as he and his team study the issue they will realize that the pro-life position is correct and will embrace that position fully."

Jakubczyk says he has already seen some progress.

He points to a statement on the McCain campaign web site that talks about McCain’s opposition to "the intentional creation of human embryos for research purposes."

The statement also mentions McCain "will strongly support funding for promising research programs, including amniotic fluid and adult stem cell research and other types of scientific study that do not involve the use of human embryos."

It discusses McCain’s votes to ban the practice of "fetal farming," against making human-animal hybrids, and against human cloning.

Jakubczyk says the McCain statement "recognizes the serious moral questions involved and the need to respect human life."

He said he appreciates the fact that pro-life leaders already have an in-road into Senator McCain and that the presidential candidate has shown an open mind on pro-life objections.

"The important news is that leaders in the pro-life community have an open door to discuss the subject and that the Senator knows we are about what is in the best interests of the nation and the nation’s children," he said.

That may indicates McCain could be open to working with pro-life advocates on alternatives should he become president and that he will not shut out pro-life disagreement on bioethics issues.