GIBSON: “Senator Kerry, the next question is for you, and it comes from Elizabeth Long.”
LONG: "Senator Kerry, thousands of people have already been cured or treated by the use of adult stem cells or umbilical cord stem cells. However, no one has been cured by using embryonic stem cells.
Wouldn’t it be wise to use stem cells obtained without the destruction of an embryo?"
KERRY: "You know, Elizabeth, I really respect your – the feeling that’s in
your question. I understand it. I know the morality that’s prompting that
question, and I respect it enormously.
But like Nancy Reagan, and so many other people – you know, I was at a
forum with Michael J. Fox the other day in New Hampshire, who’s suffering
from Parkinson’s, and he wants us to do stem cell, embryonic stem cell. And this fellow stood up, and he was quivering. His whole body was shaking from the nerve disease, the muscular disease that he had.
And he said to me and to the whole hall, he said, You know, don’t take away my hope, because my hope is what keeps me going.
Chris Reeve is a friend of mine. Chris Reeve exercises every single day to keep those muscles alive for the day when he believes he can walk again, and I want him to walk again.
I think we can save lives.
Now, I think we can do ethically guided embryonic stem-cell research.
We have 100,000 to 200,000 embryos that are frozen in nitrogen today from fertility clinics. These weren’t taken from abortion or something like that. They’re from a fertility clinic. And they’re either going to be destroyed or left frozen.
And I believe if we have the option, which scientists tell us we do, of
curing Parkinson’s, curing diabetes, curing, you know, some kind of a, you know, paraplegic or quadriplegic or, you know, a spinal cord injury,
anything, that’s the nature of the human spirit.
I think it is respecting life to reach for that cure. I think it is
respecting life to do it in an ethical way.
And the president has chosen a policy that makes it impossible for our
scientists to do that. I want the future, and I think we have to grab it."