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Reagan's son calls for support for stem cell research
Updated: 2004-07-28 14:49

Ron Reagan, son of late US Republican president Ronald Reagan, urged support in Boston Tuesday for research on embryonic stem cell that could help cure a number of diseases.

"I am not here to make a political speech, and the topic... should not, must not, have anything to do with partisanship," said Reagan, a critic of President George W. Bush's position on the stem cell research, at the US Democratic National Convention that opened here on Monday.

Reagan did not directly criticize Bush, nor did he express overt support for John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic candidate, who has called for an end to restrictions imposed by the Bush administration in 2001 on embryonic stem cell research and is to be nominated at the four-day convention.

Reagan said he was talking about the research and the use of embryonic stem cells in order to cure a wide range of fatal and debilitating illnesses, such as Parkinson's Disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, lymphoma, spinal cord injuries.

But there were some people who would stand in the way of this remarkable future with cures for such diseases, who would deny the federal funding for such research, he said. Some of these people " are just grinding a political ax," he added.

Urging American voters to support embryonic stem cell research, Reagan said they would face a choice in three months' time, " between two candidates and two parties, but more than that," he said. The voters could "choose between the future and the past, between reason and ignorance, between true compassion and mere ideology," he said.

Former US president Ronald Reagan died on June 5 after suffering from Alzheimer's for 10 years.

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