'There Is No Ban on Stem Cell Research,' Pro-Family Group Says

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - A pro-family group is urging the Republican Party to correct Democrats on their "stem cell research spin" on the same day that former President Ronald Reagan's son, Ron Reagan, is slated to speak at the Democratic National Convention on the issue.

The Family Research Council said it is "clear that stem cell research is going to be an important issue in this campaign" as evidenced by Sen. Hillary Clinton's (D-N.Y.) speech Monday night.

"The Republicans seem to have lost their voice on the stem cell research issue, giving the Democrats a free ride even as they go so far as to use one of President Reagan's sons during prime time to misinform the public about stem cell research," said FRC President Tony Perkins in a statement.

"Where are the GOP surrogates on this issue? Why have they not jumped at the chance to tout the successes of adult stem cell research, which has thus far produced more than 40 medical treatments while embryonic research has produced no medical treatments?" Perkins asked.

He said the GOP should invite President Reagan's other son, Michael, to deliver a prime time address at their convention "in order to reiterate the truth about President Reagan - that he was unabashedly pro-life, believing that life begins at conception."

Perkins pointed to Sen. Clinton's speech Monday, in which she called for the president to lift the ban on stem cell research. "Someone needs to inform Sen. Clinton that there is no ban, even though the Democrats probably feel that if the taxpayers are not funding it, that constitutes a ban," he said.

"Sen. Clinton and her misguided allies should use their own money for unsuccessful, unethical embryonic research. In the meantime, we will continue to shout the success of adult stem cell research from every roof top we can find," Perkins concluded.

Another pro-family group, Focus on the Family, also refuted Ron Reagan's stem cell claims.

"The claim that embryonic stem cells are the long-sought cure to illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson's and diabetes is misleading at best and unethical at worst," said Focus on the Family senior bioethics analyst Carrie Gordon Earll in a statement.

"The practice of harvesting cells from the youngest and most vulnerable members of the human family in the hope of successfully treating these conditions is barbaric and unnecessary," said Earll.

"While adult stem cells are showing great promise in being used to develop therapies," Earll said, "embryonic stem cells have shown just the opposite: tests have produced tumors in lab animals and there's no reason to think that would not be repeated in human trials.

"Our government has no business in subsidizing the calculated destruction of any more of our children," Earll concluded.

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