Kerry allies with Nancy Reagan in call for stem cell research

Click to follow
The Independent US

John Kerry relaunched his campaign for the American presidency after a week's respite, taken following the death of Ronald Reagan, by making an appeal to President George Bush to relax the restrictions on stem cell research that could help scientists to treat Alzheimer's disease.

John Kerry relaunched his campaign for the American presidency after a week's respite, taken following the death of Ronald Reagan, by making an appeal to President George Bush to relax the restrictions on stem cell research that could help scientists to treat Alzheimer's disease.

By speaking out on the issue, Mr Kerry was making cause with Nancy Reagan, the most powerful voice in the campaign to allow American researchers to use stem cells to further medicine in this area. The White House has resisted her calls, even though 57 senators joined her last week in supporting a relaxation of the rules.

In a radio address, Mr Kerry said that Mrs Reagan "told the world that Alzheimer's had taken her husband to a distant place, and then she stood up to help find a breakthrough that some day will spare other husbands, wives, children and parents from the same heartache".

Mr Bush set tight limits on the use of stem cells shortly after taking the White House in deference to conservatives who link the use of the cells to the issue of abortion. The cells needed by scientists are taken from day-old embryos. Mr Kerry said that the ethical difficulties could be overcome by "good will and good sense" and that scientists could only find cures "if they are allowed to look".

Speculation over Mr Kerry's choice of running mate continued to bubble after an Associated Press poll showed support was greatest for John Edwards, the southern Democrat who ran against Mr Kerry in the primaries. A third of registered voters polled favoured Mr Edwards. Mr Kerry is likely to make the choice before the Democratic convention at the end of July.

Comments