You Can't Be Pro-Life and Pro-Stem Cell Research, Group Says

By Shannon Augustus | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

( - A pro-life group says Sen. Orrin Hatch is leading a "misguided" effort to convince Americans that they can be pro-life - and support human embryonic stem cell research at the same time.

"Research that kills living human embryos can never be justified," said Judie Brown, president of the American Life League.

Hatch (R-Utah) and 57 other U.S. senators have sent a letter to President Bush, asking him to relax restrictions on stem cell research.

"We would very much like to work with you to modify the current embryonic stem cell policy so that it provides this area of research the greatest opportunity to lead to the treatments and cures for which we are all hoping," they wrote.

Sen. John F. Kerry has also jumped on the stem-cell-research bandwagon.

In a nationally broadcast radio address on Saturday, Kerry said, "Stem cells have the power to slow the loss of a grandmother's memory, calm the hand of an uncle with Parkinson's, save a child from a lifetime of daily insulin shots, or permanently lift a best friend from his wheelchair."

In a press release issued on Monday, the American Life League said that "Human embryonic stem cell research is unethical. One can never do evil, even if good might come from it."

The American Life League also asserts that there has not been any evidence proving that human embryonic stem cell research will cure or treat such diseases as Alzheimer's or multiple sclerosis.

In August 2001, in a speech to the nation, President Bush announced limited federal support for stem cell research. "Research on embryonic stem cells raises profound ethical questions, because extracting the stem cell destroys the embryo, and thus destroys its potential for life."

President Bush concluded that he would allow federal funds to be used for research, but only on existing stem cell lines.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.