Nancy Reagan praises Obama for overturning Bush's policy on stem cells
www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-10 02:48:46   Print

    LOS ANGELES, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Nancy Reagan, widow of late U.S. President Ronald Reagan, said on Monday that scientists would move forward in stem cell research thanks to President Barack Obama's decision to overturn the 8-year-old policy that limited federal funding for such research.

U.S. President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order on stem cells research in the East Room of the White House in Washington, the United States of America, March 9, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Yan)
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    "I'm very grateful that President Obama has lifted the restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research," the former first lady said in a statement. "These new rule will now make it possible for scientists to move forward."

    "Countless people, suffering from many different diseases, stand to benefit from the answers stem cell research can provide," said Reagan, who has long been at odds with other conservative Republicans over the stem cell issue.

    "We owe it to ourselves and to our children to do everything in our power to find cures for these diseases -- and soon."

    Reagan, 87, urged "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."

    Obama repealed the 2001 directive signed by former President George W. Bush that kept federal dollars out of such research programs, except in cases involving specified, already-existing stem-cell lines.

U.S. President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order on stem cells research in the East Room of the White House in Washington, the United States of America, March 9, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Yan)
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    Reagan's statement did not mention her late husband, who battled Alzheimer's disease in the final decade of his life.

    Ronald Reagan, who served from 1981-1989 as the nation's 40th president, announced in 1994 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease earlier that year.

    At the time of his death in 2004 at the age of 93, there were calls for Bush to lift the restrictions on federal funding for stem cell research. But some researchers publicly expressed doubts about whether such research would lead to a cure for Alzheimer's disease.

Editor: Yan
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