Right Of The Star

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Fact Check 081004 Stem Cell

The Kerryspot has this great update:

The Bush campaign is organizing response messages on stem cell research. Judging by how often it was cited at the Democratic convention, the out-of-power party has concluded that the (false) charge that the president has banned stem cell research is a winning campaign theme. (And people have absorbed that message - a friend recently shared a story where a coworker insisted that stem cell research is illegal, and refused to believe that what the Democrats wanted was to increase the level of federal funding for research.) The Bush camp is sending emails
pointing to this Charles Krauthammer comment:

KRAUTHAMMER: Well that’s precisely right and it is part of the unbelievable demagoguery of the Democrats on this issue. Look, I personally support expansion of some of the federal funding of stem cell research. But you're absolutely right, the ban that they speak about is simply a lie. It is legal in the country of course, it always has been private universities are working hard on it.
Secondly, there was a ban on the federal funding right through the Clinton years. They never spent a penny on stem cells. The person who lifted the ban was President Bush when he made his speech in August of 2001. So, the federal, right now the federal government is spending $25 million on stem cell research. So, to talk about a ban I think is simply to mislead Americans deliberately. (Fox News’ “Fox News Live,” 8/9/04)

And How's this for reality!

In fiscal year 2003, federal spending on stem cell research was $24.8 million. The administration also provided $190.7 million for human non-embryonic stem cells (adult stem cells, including those from cord blood, placenta, and bone marrow).
Another interesting point: France, Germany, Austria, Spain, and Ireland ban altogether the destruction of human embryos to create stem cell lines.

But maybe our policies aren't as nuanced and sophisticated as theirs.

Like I said, Krauthammer is the best!

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