Forget stem cells, but how about a commemorative coin?


Geraldine Sealey
June 10, 2004 1:56AM (UTC)

Arguably the best way for Republicans to honor Ronald Reagan -- far more meaningful than putting his face on the $10 bill, a stamp, or commemorative coin, we'd say -- would be to stop restricting stem cell research, which could lead to cures for horrible diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Nancy Reagan has endorsed embryonic stem cell research, and in a pleading speech at a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation dinner last month, said: "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."

At the same dinner, letters of support for Mrs. Reagan's efforts were read from former presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. There was nothing from the Bush administration, which has sided with religious conservatives on the issue.

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Today, First Lady Laura Bush again voiced the administration's position.

"There are stem cells to do research on and ... we have to be really careful between what we want to do for science and what we should do ethically," she said. "Stem cell ... is certainly one of those issues that we need to treat very carefully."

Asked if she could endorse Nancy Reagan's call for restrictions to be lifted, she said: "No."

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Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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