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. Jackie in Dallas

    You know, it never ceases to amaze me about the ignorance of some people. Stem cell research is not conducted using embryos that are aborted. They are from fertilized ova that were created by people seeking fertility resolutions. There are usually some left over that are either distroyed or kept indefinitely, but never used for anything. I.E. these embryos are not ever going to become babies. Their use in stem cell research could save the lives of some of the hate-filled people who think that they know better than the best scientists in the world.

    And all of you who think that abortion is evil no matter what the circumstances, I don't understand you. I do not suport the use of abortion for birth control, but do support the right of a woman to determine, with her doctor, whether it is an appropriate option for her. In the case of rape or incest, it may well be the only way to save the victims of these crimes, as there is a high suicide rate among them. You are all for the rights of the unborn, but once they are born, you don't give a flip about them. How many unwanted children have you adopted? How many times have you castigated a woman giving birth out of wedlock? How many times have you voted to cut the budgets for welfare, food stamps, health care for these same women. Walk a mile in their shoes before you judge them.

    March 9, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. G

    I believe in my religion as a Christian but I also believe that if these embryos are going to get destroy anyways might as well used it for good than being used for nothing.

    March 9, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Good on ya Nancy. If only the rest of your party had such a pragmatic view.

    March 9, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. Pat F

    What a non-story. California has had a huge stem cell research program – billions of dollars' worth – for years. The so-called "ban on stem cell research" was a ban on spending Federal dollars for it. The much more efficient private and State sectors were spending hand over fist on stem cell research – and accomplishing very little scientifically.

    Obama's "pure science" memo is just a cynical joke. Reversing the stem cell "ban" is nothing more than a Democratic campaign contribution issue – not a real health care story. It's the Democratic version of "partial birth abortion" – it gets the base mobilized, and contributing money. But it's a red herring.

    March 9, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. Super D

    Playing God is not and will not ever be right. I don't want my tax dollars funding this folly of research.

    Pay for it yourself you baby killing Liberals if it's so important to you.

    March 9, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Obama's Legacy ... Civility Returns To America

    The Grand Dame of the Republican party is behind this.

    I'd like to see Limbaugh, Hannity, Dobson, Falwell, Palin, Coultier or any of the other big mouth blowhards on the right wing criticize this decision by the PRESIDENT to favor scientific advancement.

    March 9, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Alison

    Good for Mrs. Reagan. She has finally earned my respect.

    Her son is a great guy too.

    March 9, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. annette

    I go on so many blogs,, and others....and there are alot of angry people in this country......alot of hate.....its pretty scary....prety much what ever obama does the liberals will rejoice and the conservatives will cringe.....argument over.....why even blog....

    March 9, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. TexAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    Bless this Republican lady for saying what needed to be said!

    March 9, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. David

    I totally support stem cell research! let us advance our human race instead of having it hindered by religious zealots. I love the lord. I believe he has created this great earth and galaxy for us to explorer, to discover, not to sit idle and to be zombies. Sorry, but these ultra religious people need to stop being brainwashed by their fathers and pastors.

    I once heard someone say their pastor told them if they voted for Obama, then they cant receive communion. What a disgrace. how about the pastor ban himself from church indefinetly for supporting the war in Iraq.

    March 9, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. Otto

    Congrats to Nancy for giving her honest opinion. To President Obama; you are doing what Americans need, not just Republicans as they were during the 43rd rule. Commenting on the igronant post here is a waste of time.

    March 9, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Timothy

    This is one of many black marks on the Bush legacy. If one of his children was dying and they had a cure that was developed by stem-cell research, he wouldn't save his child's life because of the way it was discovered? Another example of the Bush principle getting in the way of common sense. What a bad legacy, and the Supreme Court will just make his legacy worse and worse and worse...... Didn't anyone notice during our trying economic times right now our Congress has to spend time enacting laws to counter act bad Supreme Court decisions. Example, Lilly Ledbeder legislation. It's an American embarrasment to have to enact a law directly opposing a Supreme Court decision that was wrong, just to protect the American worker. It was one of the most un-American decisions the Court has ever rendered. One more for the Bush legacy.

    March 9, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. MaryanneAZ

    Just as all politics are local. All health research is personal. Unless and until a condition affects you or your loved one, then it is easy to dismiss the need for research. I would applaud the "embryo principle" more if these same zealots took the ultimate stand: no person should be manipulating the creation or destruction of life–end in vitro fertilization entirely. As long as it is okay to create life outside of the natural human process, then it should also be okay to use the discards for important research purposes. Manipulating life to create a new life is good, manipulating life to maintain or improve an existing life is not good. Irrational!

    March 9, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |

    As a 57 year old Diabetic with a grandson who also has an incureable disease I think that only studies and science can help find cure for many diseases. Stem cell research has plus & minuses. For those who are saying don't play God, I believe it is he who gave these great minds to our scientists so they can do what they do to help in many ways. Should we have not played God when we went to the Moon. He created Earth so why are we going up in space.

    March 9, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. dotjet

    Wow! First Meaghan McCain blasts Ann Coulter & says something nice about Obama and now this from Nancy??? Has something gone totally awry in the Universe???? Whatever it is, as one of those terrible liberals . . . I'm likin' it!!!

    March 9, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. cnnnewser

    Millions of people applaud the change, but, the republicans will get all the airtime to spew their negative stance on stem cell research.

    March 9, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. Ray Fisher

    Yes, it is a blessing for those of us who suffer from incurable diseases to at least have hope for a cure someday. While I disagree with the idea of aborting life, to squash stem-cell research in effect aborts life anyway only at a later stage. Abortions will always occur whether naturally, surgically, or chemically therefore the pro-choice arguments need not apply as women always have a choice outside of rape ergo the question is when a woman wishes to express her choice. For those who suffer from diseases, we have no choices and quite often no treatments, respite no relief for life but because of the President's actions today, we now have a little hope!!!

    March 9, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. patriot

    Nancy Reagan has taken this position as Republicans usually do: because it affects HER life. Had it not, she'd be staunchly opposed to it. Republicans can't understand a problem unless it personally affects THEM! Nevertheless, we'll TAKE it! Thanks, Nancy.

    March 9, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. mitchperkins

    Big deal. Yes, she spoke out about stem cells some years ago, but she still voted for George Bush in 2004. I'm pretty sure she voted for McCain this last go round. This woman has zero integrity. Let's not forget about her White House years – meaningless, arrogant and wacky (astrology). Who the hell cares what she has to say?

    March 9, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. Joe

    Diana March 9th, 2009 1:00 pm ET

    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 going…one way or another we are all going to pay for his misdeeds

    Diana, you're almost worth a cry. You and your ilk don't seem to have a problem when those frozen embroys scientists wanted to use were going to be disposed of by being thrown in an oven and roasted out of existance. I say this because I have heard no one raise this as an issue equal to using them to help and hopefully find a cure for horrid diseases affecting ALREADY-BORN people – who have families, who have jobs, lives, most likely go to church!!

    And Yes. President Obama certainly does belong there. He was ELECTED!

    Now. About Mrs. Reagan...
    I saw some invoking the name of the corpulate, mindless pig. I don't think Mrs. Reagan deigns to play the new repugnican game DARF – Didja Ask Rush First.

    March 9, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. you suck!

    if the repuklicant god's (reagan) wife approves of stem cell research, why can't the rest of the 'pukes get on the train?
    HAH take that hanity and oxycotin limbaugh!!

    March 9, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. Augustine

    The killing of a baby for Science?
    No matter what you call it, if you stop a heartbeat, it is Murder.
    Babies will die for your opinion.
    God will hold each child.
    Those who have the sense to take away a beating heart will be accountable.

    March 9, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  23. Bill

    Expat American says...

    "Let's see Coulter and Rush attack the former First Lady over this…. Eureka! Maybe this is what it will take for moderate Republicans to banish those two fools for good from the GOP. – let Rush and Coulter start their own party. Call it the Party of ‘We’re millionaires who depend on poor whites for support”. Fingers crossed…

    Best Wishes, Mrs. First Lady."

    That was so well said that I felt compelled to repeat it again here. Republicans need to distance themselves from these two loonies if they ever wish to be relevant again.

    Hats off to Mrs. Reagan for standing by her beliefs. I'm sure the wrath from Limbaugh, Coulter and Hannity will soon follow.

    March 9, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. Norom

    jon March 9th, 2009 1:22 pm ET

    You know…. the nazis did lots of "research" too.

    I'll be that if you had cancer or some other life threatening disease you would be at the clinic faster than you could say "stem cell"begging for some doctor to cure you. What if your son or daugther was in an accident and ended up paralyzed and this research could result in treatments to allow them to walk again?
    It is about time that we let our scientific policies be governed by science and not religion.

    March 9, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. Dylan from Minneapolis

    This is going to be a great age for science and technology! As, someone who follows everything science I'm giddy with excitement!

    March 9, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8