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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Stem-Cell Research as a Campaign Issue

August 12, 2004

Re "Stem-Cell Research Gains Political Life," Aug. 10: Ask the man on the street if he supports stem-cell research. Likely, he'll say yes. Ask the same person how he feels about human cloning, and you are likely to get quite a different response. Ron Reagan managed to dance around the word "clone" in his avowedly nonpolitical speech at the Democratic convention. He somehow managed to avoid mentioning that the cloning of human cells is an inextricable part of the process. This is dishonest and deceptive.

The Times does the same Reagan dance in this article addressing the debate over stem-cell research. In his remarks of Aug. 9, 2001, on stem-cell research, the president emphasized caution in dealing with the very real ethical issues regarding embryonic stem-cell research and cloning, while at the same time funding and supporting new avenues of stem-cell research. I suggest open-minded people, as well as Times writers, review the Bush policy.

Geoffrey Cushing-Murray

Studio City

First, Bush could not be more insulting to one's intelligence when he claims, through his wife and press secretary, that "he is the first president to authorize federal funding" for stem-cell research. Americans still remember Bush's reluctance to authorize the real research that scientists wanted. For him to now claim that he has been a pioneer is either flip-flopping or a lie. Second, Bush is inconsistent when he bans new human embryos for stem-cell research but, at the same time, turns a blind eye to the multibillion-dollar fertility clinics throughout the country. Those clinics produce a large number of human embryos every day, the majority of which will be "killed" and discarded. In this election year, it will be the economy and stem-cell research, stupid.

Rasha Abed

Santa Monica

Granted, First Lady Laura Bush is more acquainted with the literary world than her husband is, but how can she predict how successful stem-cell research will be? Didn't know she holds degrees in any scientific field.

Lenora Lowe

Pacific Palisades

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