LifeNews.com reports that pro-life advocate Michael Reagan has been invited to address the Republican National Convention, in which he will counter the misleading claims of Ron Reagan's speech to the Democratic National Convention, in which he called for federal funding of embroyonic stem-cell research and legalization of human cloning (a position endorsed by Senator Kerry):
Last month, Ron Reagan told Democratic Party loyalists to "vote for embryonic stem cell research" in a speech that touted the unproven research.
After President Reagan passed away, advocates of embryonic stem cell research piggybacked their message onto his death, saying that such research could benefit others who suffer from diseases such as Alzheimer's.
However, Michael Reagan, a board member of the John Douglas French Alzheimer's Foundation in California, said his father would have opposed the research and paying for it with taxpayer funds. He accused the media of making it seem that wasn't the case.
"The media continues to report that the Reagan 'family' is in favor of [embryonic] stem cell research, when the truth is that two members of the family have been long time foes of this process of manufacturing human beings -- my dad, Ronald Reagan during his lifetime, and I," Michael Reagan wrote in an editorial ("I'm With My Dad on Stem-Cell Research" July 30, 2004).
"Moreover, using the widely promoted and thoroughly discredited argument that stem cell research can lead to a cure of Alzheimer's disease, the media and proponents of stem cell research have suggested that had the research been done a long time ago, my dad might have avoided the ordeal he endured," Michael Reagan explained. "This is junk science at its worst."
More than 30 anticancer uses for stem cells have been tested on humans, with many already in routine therapeutical use.
By some accounts, the area in which stem-cell applications are moving fastest is autoimmune disease, in which the body's own protective system turns on itself. Diseases for which stem cells currently are being tested on humans include diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Evans syndrome, rheumatic disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), among many others.
Just last February, two different human-autopsy studies demonstrated that stem cells transfused into the marrow work their way into the brain, where they can repair neurons and other vital cells. Other studies have shown that when injected into animals with severed spinal cords, stem cells rush to the injury site effecting repairs. "I think the stem cells may act as a repair squad," says the leader of one of the two studies, Helen Blau of the Stanford University Brain Research Institute. "They travel through the bloodstream, respond to stress, and contribute to brain cells. They clearly repair damage in muscle and other tissues."
At a conference in late 2002, French researchers reported that during the last 14 years they had performed 69 stem-cell transplants with an 85 percent disease-free survival rate. Since improving their procedure in 1992, all 30 of the last transplants have been successful.
Stem cells have been injected into damaged hearts and become functional muscle. This destroyed the dogma that heart muscle cannot be repaired, just as stem-cell research also wrecked the firmly held belief that brain tissue cannot regenerate.
. . . here's what you may have missed. While the overwhelming majority of favorable media coverage of stem cells concerns those pulled from human embryos, called embryonic stem cells (ESCs), not a single treatment listed above has used that kind of cell.
Why such gains has been persistently and deliberately neglected in favor of the current ethical controversy over embroyonic stem-cells? -- Mr. Fumento responds:
. . . here's a huge ESC industry out there, with countless labs packed with innumerable scientists desperately seeking research funds. Private investors avoid them because they don't want to wait perhaps 10 years for commercial products that very well may not materialize and because they're spooked by the ethical concerns. That leaves essentially only Uncle Sam's piggy bank, primarily grants from the National Institutes of Health, to keep these labs open. This, in brief, explains the "stem-cells wars," the perceived overwhelming need grossly to exaggerate petri-dish advances with ESCs, while life-saving new applications of ASCs are downplayed or ignored.
Read the article, judge for yourself, and let's hope that more citizens will challenge Ron Reagan and Senator Kerry on their endorsement of embryonic stem cell research as a 'cure-all.'
Ongoing commentary by the editors of CatholicKerryWatch
Sen. John Kerry stands with Kate Michelman (right) President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Since 1995, Michelman's group has given Kerry a 100% rating for his voting record to defend abortion.