March 9th, 2009
12:39 PM ET
14 years ago

Nancy Reagan praises Obama's stem cell policy change

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The former first lady said Monday that many people stand to benefit from the answers stem cell research can provide."]
(CNN) - Former first lady Nancy Reagan issued a statement Monday praising the president's change to federal policy on funding embryonic stem cell research.

Read Reagan's statement after the jump.


I’m very grateful that President Obama has lifted the restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. These new rules will now make it possible for scientists to move forward. I urge researchers to make use of the opportunities that are available to them, and to do all they can to fulfill the promise that stem cell research offers.

Countless people, suffering from many different diseases, stand to benefit from the answers stem cell research can provide. We owe it to ourselves and to our children to do everything in our power to find cures for these diseases – and soon. As I’ve said before, time is short, and life is precious.

soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. TT

    How bout that Rep. !

    March 9, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. yd

    President Barack Obama is dilligently striving to keep his campaign promises. Regardless of whether you are republican or democrat we must give him credit for being a man of his word. His first 100 days will be be filled with more campaign commitments being fullfiied than any president in the history of America.For this I commend President Barack Obama.

    March 9, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. Mari

    Anyone whose loved one has suffered from any number of terrible illnesses will be grateful.

    Unless you have experienced the horrors of diseases that no one can cure you will not understand.

    A vast majority of Americans applaud this!

    March 9, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. Deanna

    Well spoken Mrs. Regan. My respect for you could not be any higher. For the folks that think it is sacrificing one life for another? It is more like one "possible" life to save millions. Applauds to you ma'am. *deep bow*

    March 9, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. Laverne

    And she is not going to apologize to Rush for her statement!

    March 9, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  6. John, Brooklyn, NY

    Bravo, Mrs. Reagan!

    For the first time since the election we are finally hearing from a Republican who has set ideology aside to advocate for something that is genuinely a good thing...without interest it getting credit for her own party in the process.

    Mrs. Reagan also has seen the ravages of Alzheimer's as it slowly took her husband away from her. If stem cell research can provide the hope that future generations will never have to experience her pain, then lifting the ban will have been entirely worth it.

    March 9, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Diana

    You can try as you like but its still called killing unborn babies and you will pay the price for it...... God doesn't sleep...... I wish they would either find Obama's birth certificate of take him out of office if he doesn't belong there because hes ruining America at the rate hes way or another we are all going to pay for his misdeeds

    March 9, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Voter

    Nancy Reagan is living proof that not all Republicans are self-serving idiots.

    March 9, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Brave woman, proud Christian, pragmatic Republican. She knows the pain of watching some lose one's life memories right in front of her.

    Issac Asimov: Don't let your sense of morals keep you from doing what's right.

    March 9, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Jonathan

    Sure... this is great. Our hard earned tax dollars are paying for bail-outs left and right and we are going to maintain the auto industries misphaps; why not throw a couple billion over to stem cell research. Regardless of the fact that there are a lot of americans who beleive that it is moral disgraceful. When are we going to take back our country and stop letting the government dictate everything. We have to wake up, at no time did Bush say you couldn't research stem cells he just said american tax dollars wouldn't.....Barack = handouts, plain and simple

    March 9, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Agnessa

    Good for you, Nancy! I am glad to hear that some people are still able to think "outside of the party box" and support a cause they believe in – even though it is a minority opinion within their party. We need more moderate republicans AND democrats to represent so many of us who fall in the middle. I may be a lifelong democrat, but I don't fit the exact "formula" that politicians like to design for me.

    March 9, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. JL

    Mrs. Reagan is from the era when republicans made sense. Back when they believed in science and had ideas. That party no longer exists.

    March 9, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. Dieter Zerressen, Denver, CO

    Let's hear what the Republican right wingers say about this! All you ever hear is Reagan this and Reagan that (as if the present day electorate even cares about Reagan – non of the new voters in 2008 were even alive during the Reagan administration). But even if you do care about the Reagan era, how are you going to dismiss this one?
    How about this approach? If you don't support embryonic stem cell research then don't take advantage of any of the medical breakthroughs that are sure to come. Hey, Right wingers: stand up (or lie down in your grave) with your principles and values.

    March 9, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Caje

    I just wished Mrs Reagan had made a forceful comment like this anytime between January, 2001 and January, 2009. when we had a Republican as president. She sees the good in what stem cell research could bring yet she let politics cloud her decision.
    Better be late than never, Mrs Reagan. Welcome.

    March 9, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Agnessa

    Diana, how is it killing unborn babies?! It's CELLS. A bunch of cells, which at the point of testing haven't developed into anything substantial. There's no heartbeat, no brain activity, nothing. It's CELLS. I could see having an issue with stem cell research if it involved 8 week old fetuses, but this is absurd. The "religious" always condemn sound science until they need it to save someone they care about.

    March 9, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. Jes

    Diana, you might want to know that if they're not using the embryos for stem cell research they usually just dump them in the trash.

    Now which option seems better to you?

    Saving countless lives with a cell or throwing them in the trash and saving no one?

    Leave the judging to your God.

    March 9, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. Brian

    I am glad that the President has chosen to use solid, reputable science to base this decision and not politics. Now if he will only apply that same philosophy with the EPA and not listen to the flawed, liberal selected "research" that is guiding the politacally based decisions on the environment. Toss in a dose of common sense and that would even be better.

    March 9, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. Justin from New Haven, CT

    Obama/Nancy Reagan 2012

    March 9, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. Mari

    @ Diana............ then would you ALSO condemn WAR???????????

    Here is the thing that is SO hypocritical about the religious-pro-life stance:

    You want to protect ONLY the baby in the womb. But you, people, support the war that Bush started! Which killed hundreds of thousands of civilians....... women and children! Devastated a country, Iraq and cost the lives of thousands of Americans. Not to mention the thousands maimed!

    LIFE is much more than ONLY the baby in the womb, ALL life is precious! The Pro-life people voted Bush into office twice, and did not cry out in protest when Bush VETOED the Bill that would have given poor children healthcare!

    Hypocrites! AND YES........... GOD IS watching.

    March 9, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. gorn by any other name

    Diana, those "babies", as you call them, are already dead. There are 600,000 embryos ready to be flushed down the toilet because they are not needed at the fertility clinics. 80 were "adopted" last year. What about the other 599,920? Flush them, or get research value from them to help find cures, that's the choice. If your god was doing his job, he would prevent the fertilization of any embryo that was not destined for a womb. Or maybe, just maybe, He wants those embryos used for research and so allowed them to be fertilized anyway. Who are YOU to presume to know the mind of God?

    March 9, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Barbara - Atlanta

    May God Bless you Mrs. Reagan and our President.

    March 9, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  22. Laughing

    looks like a new era of Republicans.. the women have the balls to stand up to Rush and his republican groupies

    March 9, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. Kris in Denver

    Thank you, Mrs. Reagan. You and I have lived with our loved ones as they have battled the ravages of Alzheimer's. You obviously understand the profound difference this research will make for others, so that some day they will not have to go through what you and your husband, and I and my mother, have gone through.

    March 9, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Joe in StL

    Who cares what Nancy Reagan thinks?

    She gets one thing right and you all applaud her.

    Evil woman.

    March 9, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. Ted, Washington DC

    Kudos to Nancy, a national treasure

    March 9, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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