Dobson Takes Stand Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research on CBS Show

( [email protected] ) Jun 16, 2004 08:51 PM EDT

Using embryonic stem cells to conduct research would kill the embryo which is human life, according to Dr. James. D. Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, who appeared on the June 13th edition of CBS's "Face the Nation" to debate on stem cell research, an issue reignited by Nancy Reagan who believes that line of research has potential in finding a cure for Alzhiemer's disease.

"The embryo is embryonic human life and we would not favor anything that kills human life," said Dobson.

The show's host Bob Schieffer meditated the debate between Dobson and Republican Senator Arlen Spector who argued for embryonic stem cell research and TIMEMagazine editor Kristy Tumulty who also joined the debate.

Dobson said that he only supports adult stem cell research which "is the source of great hope." Adult stem cell research has even been known to cure diabetes while embryonic stem cells have only produced tumors in animals, according to Dobson.

Tumulty mentioned how there are some cases where adult stem cell research did not work as in the case of heart diseases.

In August 2001, President Bush authorized the use of federal funding for 63 lines of embryonic stem cells. Although that number has increased to more than 70, proponents of embyronic stem cell research would like to have more stem cell lines available.

"We have found that only a few of them are really workable," said Specter who noted his subcommittee has had 14 hearings on the subject since December of 1998.

"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," explained Dobson in a statement released on June 15.

Specter felt the pro-life and pro-family position would use the frozen fertilized embyros but according to Dobson, the released lines of stem cells had no potential for life.

Both Dobson and Tumulty expressed concern over the possibility of stem cell research opening the doors for human cloning.

On June 4, the day before former President Reagan died, Bush received a letter signed by 58 Senators and some 200 congressman asking him to relax restrictions on stem cell research.

Bush reiterated his stance as he spoke via satellite to an audience of Southern Baptists who were gathered for their annual convention in Indianapolis.

"Life is a creation of God, not a commodity to be exploited by man," Bush told the Southern Baptist Convention.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy later confirmed that the rejection of the use of life as a "commodity" was a reference to his stance on stem cells although he did not specifically address the issue in his speech.