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Reagan lobbies for therapeutic cloning

7 October 2002
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 178

Nancy Reagan, former first lady of the US, has been lobbying for a change in President Bush's policy on research into embryo stem cells The 81-year-old wife of former president Ronald Reagan has been 'obliquely but persistently campaigning' for federal funding of embryo stem cell research, according to a report in the New York Times (NYT) last week.

Ronald Reagan has Alzheimer's disease, one of many degenerative conditions that could eventually be treated using new therapies developed through research on embryo stem cells. Mrs Reagan, known for her loyalty to the Republican party, has become a 'stealth lobbyist' for such work, by discussing the issue with members of Congress, administration officials and scientists. Since 9 August 2001, federally-funded US researchers have only been permitted to work with human embryo-derived cells already in existence on that date. Earlier this year, President Bush called for a complete US ban on any form of cloning, including the use of cloned embryo stem cells to develop new disease treatments (also known as therapeutic cloning).

Through a friend, Nancy Reagan told the NYT that 'a lot of people who could be helped are not being helped'. In response, a White House spokesperson said that the president was confident that the decision he made last year strikes the right balance between moral and ethical responsibility and furthering scientific research.

Bush has many enemies. But he didn't expect them to include Nancy Reagan.
The Guardian |  30 September 2002
Reagan lobbies for stem cell research
BBC News Online |  30 September 2002
22 May 2006 - by Dr Kirsty Horsey 
Nancy Reagan, former first lady of the US, has reiterated her calls for federal legislation supporting embryonic stem (ES) cell research. Earlier this month, she published a personal letter that she had written to Senator Orrin Hatch, saying that she wants to see debate and a...
20 June 2005 - by BioNews 
Senators in the US will start to debate a bill on the issue of human embryonic stem (ES) cell research next month. A bipartisan group of senators is campaigning to persuade President Bush to relax his policy on the research. Bush, who opposes any research that would involve the destruction...
10 May 2004 - by BioNews 
President Bush is facing mounting pressure to review his three-year old policy on human embryonic stem (ES) cell research. At a gala dinner held on Saturday night for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Nancy Reagan, wife of the former US President Ronald Reagan, made a passionate speech imploring the...
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