Clinton and Stem Cell Misinformation

25 June 2007

Hillary Clinton made the following statements at a Take Back America conference last week:

“You know, later today, apparently, the president will veto a bill passed by Congress to support stem cell research.

“Now, this is research that…holds such promise for devastating diseases. Yesterday, I met with a group of children suffering from juvenile diabetes. I co-chair the Alzheimer's caucus in the Senate. I've worked on helping to boost funding for research to look for cures and a way to prevent so many devastating diseases. And we know that stem cell research holds the key to our understanding more about what we can do. So let me be very clear: When I am president, I will lift the ban on stem cell research.

“This is just one example of how the President puts ideology before science, politics before the needs of our families, just one more example of how out of touch with reality he and his party have become. And it's just one more example as to why we're going to send them packing in January 2009, and return progressive leadership to the White House.”

Whoa, there. Let's make sure we've got this straight. There is no "ban on stem cell research," not even on embryonic stem cell research. Private individuals are free to fund and perform research on embryonic stem cells, and nobody in Congress has the political power or will to change that. That is a good thing. All that this veto means is that federal funds cannot be spent on embryonic stem cell research. That is a bad thing. But let's not go crazy and start making things up, or spreading popular misconceptions.

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