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More MS news articles for June 2004

Dobson Says Embryonic Stem-Cell Research Not Answer

Focus Founder Chides Senate for Pressuring Bush to Relax Funding Restrictions

June 15, 2004
U.S. Newswire

Focus on the Family founder and chairman Dr. James C. Dobson, who debated embryonic stem-cell research with Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter on Sunday's edition of CBS' Face the Nation, issued the following statement today:

"We are profoundly disappointed to learn that 58 members of the U.S. Senate and 204 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed letters insisting that President Bush permit federal funding for research on living embryonic stem cells. Their demand, if implemented, would result in the deaths of countless human embryonic lives. Lowering that standard is also likely to lead to human cloning and harvesting of body parts from babies conceived for this purpose. It is especially regrettable that the list of signatories to the letters included supposedly pro-life members of the Senate -- notably Orrin Hatch, Lamar Alexander, Thad Cochran and Trent Lott -- who seem to have lost their moral compasses.

"Contrary to ongoing research with adult stem cells, which do not cause death and are supported by President Bush and unimpeded federal funds, not one human being is being treated with embryonic stem cells anywhere in the world. No clinical trials are in progress using this approach. No studies with human embryonic stem cells are even being contemplated. None! And why not? Because these cells are unpredictable and tend to create tumors in animals being treated with them.

"Nevertheless, members of Congress and their scientific advisers are continuing to tell the American people that killing and using these tiny human beings will lead to a cure for Alzheimer's and other diseases. Sen. Dianne Feinstein stood on the floor of the Senate last week and declared that 'this research offers tremendous hope, not only to those who suffer from Alzheimer's, but also the millions of people with cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries.' The scientific community knows this is not true, yet it participates in the sham. The Weekly Standard called this deliberate distortion 'a scandal,' and Dr. D.G. McKay, stem-cell researcher at the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke, termed it a 'fairy tale.' Scientists who have testified before congressional committees about the promise of embryonic stem-cell research are hoping to secure federal money for their own research, a conflict of interest the mainstream media has decided not to report.

"The most regrettable aspect of this distortion is that Nancy Reagan has also been ensnared by it. Politicians and the media are using this grieving widow to unwittingly confuse the general public. They have dreamed up a very compelling argument: President Reagan and other Alzheimer's patients might not have suffered and died if only President Bush had permitted research on embryonic stem cells. The only problem is that it is entirely untrue.

"Finally, there is this: Those who have signed the letters to President Bush have not been able to find the courage to protect the sanctity of marriage, yet they've ganged up on those least able to speak for themselves. The American people deserve better from our leaders."

Copyright © 2004, U.S. Newswire