Monday, May 10, 2004

Nancy Reagan on Stem Cell Research

Nancy Reagan spoke out in favor of stem cell research over the weekend:

Former first lady Nancy Reagan endorsed human embryonic research Saturday night at a star-studded fund-raiser.

Such research is generally opposed by political conservatives and many anti-abortion groups because it involves the destruction of days-old human embryos. President Bush signed an executive order in 2001 limiting research to existing embryonic stem cell lines.

However, Reagan and others believe the use of stem cells taken from embryos could lead to cures for such illnesses as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, which afflicts Reagan’s husband, former President Ronald Reagan.

“Ronnie’s long journey has finally taken him to a distant place where I can no longer reach him,” she said. “Because of this I’m determined to do whatever I can to save other families from this pain. I just don’t see how we can turn our backs on this.”

The Republican former first lady became one of the first conservative public figures to support human embryo research when she first spoke in favor of it more than three years ago.

Say what you will about Ronald Reagan and his legacy – which in light of the current administration, doesn’t seem all that awful (my God, what have they driven me to?) – anything that can be done to treat or find a cure for such diseases is worth all the real science we can muster. I’d love to hear the phone conversation between Mrs. Reagan and Dubya over this particular topic.