Joe Biden Slams Sarah Palin on Down Syndrome Son, Stem Cell Research

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

Joe Biden Slams Sarah Palin on Down Syndrome Son, Stem Cell Research

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 9
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s pro-abortion running mate, is coming under fire for comments he made today attacking vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. After attacking her on abortion, Biden then slammed Palin on the birth of her son, who has Down syndrome.

During her acceptance speech last week, Palin promised the parents of disabled children that she would be their advocate in the White House.

Biden questioned that commitment by attacking Palin’s stance on the issue of embryonic stem cell research, which has never helped a single patient.

"I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy, because there’s joy to it as well, the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect,’ Biden said.

"Well guess what folks? If you care about it, why don’t you support stem cell research?" Biden asked, questioning Palin’s commitment.

The McCain campaign released a statement to on Tuesday responding to Biden’s accusation and saying Biden’s comments on stem cell research were "offensive."

"Barack Obama’s running mate sunk to a new low today launching an offensive debate over who cares more about special needs children," McCain spokesman Ben Porritt said. "Playing politics with this issue is disturbing and indicative of a desperate campaign."

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women’s group, also took strong exception to Biden’s "caustic" comments.

"Biden outrageously implied that Americans who refuse to sacrifice innocent human life in the name of unproven, desperate attempts to cure our nation’s ills through embryo-destructive research somehow don’t really care about children," she told

"I am a mother of five children, one with a mental disability. The fact that Joe Biden questioned the compassion of parents like me – Governor Sarah Palin, among them – makes me sputter in disbelief," she added.

“Compassion can never be built upon callous disregard for human life. History has shown this has led to the near elimination of entire classes of human beings. I want to talk to him about compassion – and not the kind that leads to the gas chamber," Dannenfelser continued.

During her speech, Palin told the more than 37 million Americans watching: "To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters."

She continued, "I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House."


Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.