Ron Reagan: A battle between compassion and ideology

From a speech by the son of the former Republican President at the Democratic Convention in Boston
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The Independent Online

I am here to talk about the issue of research into what may be the greatest medical breakthrough in our or in any lifetime: the use of embryonic stem cells - cells created using the material of our own bodies - to cure a wide range of fatal and debilitating illnesses: Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, lymphoma, spinal cord injuries, and much more.

I am here to talk about the issue of research into what may be the greatest medical breakthrough in our or in any lifetime: the use of embryonic stem cells - cells created using the material of our own bodies - to cure a wide range of fatal and debilitating illnesses: Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, lymphoma, spinal cord injuries, and much more.

Now, there are those who would stand in the way of this remarkable future, who would deny the federal funding so crucial to basic research. They argue that interfering with the development of even the earliest stage embryo, even one that will never he implanted in a womb and will never develop into an actual foetus, is tantamount to murder.

A few of these folks, needless to say, are just grinding a political axe, and they should he ashamed of themselves. But many are well-meaning and sincere. Their belief is just that, an article of faith, and they are entitled to it.

But it does not follow that the theology of a few should be allowed to forestall the health and wellbeing of the many. And how can we affirm life if we abandon those whose own lives are so desperately at risk?

In a few months, we will face a choice. Yes, between two candidates and two parties, but more than that. We have a chance to take a giant stride forward for the good of all humanity. We can choose between the future and the past, between reason and ignorance, between true compassion and mere ideology. This is our moment, and we must not falter.

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