Friday, July 18, 2008

McCain Takes Obama to Task on Abortion, Still Defends Embryo Destroying Research

By Peter J. Smith

KANSAS CITY, Missouri, July 18, 2008 ( - Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain came out swinging at Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama at a town hall meeting in Kansas City Missouri over the latter's stand on abortion, reports the Wall Street Journal.

McCain brought up his pro-life record on abortion at the meeting on Thursday, after a discussion about the problem of sexually graphic material on the internet.

"I also would like to say one other thing very quickly to you - that is, I am proud of my record of protecting and advocating the rights of the unborn. I believe this is also an important issue," McCain told his audience, adding that the noblest words ever written were those in the Declaration of Independence that outlined the rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

"Life means the rights of the born and the unborn," McCain continued. "You can count on my active advocacy for the rights of the unborn."

McCain then blasted Obama for opposing a ban on partial birth abortion.

"My friends, that's a hideous procedure. It should never be allowed any place on earth," he said.

Obama has said in recent days that he would not oppose a state ban on late term abortions with a health exception for the mother. He indicated that a health exception should cover serious health issues, and not mere "mental distress." The slight waffling on his 100% abortion-promoting record, however, has angered his abortion constituency. Obama subsequently explained that he would not oppose a state ban on late-term abortions in the case of women "feeling blue."
The Wall Street Journal reports, however, that McCain continues to stand by his support for embryonic stem cell research.

McCain told his Union Station audience, "At the moment I support stem cell research [because of] the potential it has for curing some of the most terrible diseases that afflict mankind."

McCain's staunch position on embryonic research is puzzling pro-life voters, however, since to date no therapies have been developed from ESCR, while scientists have indicated that embryonic stem cells have a significant risk of growing into tumours or being rejected by the patient as foreign tissue. On the other hand, adult stem-cell research, which does not involve the destruction of human embryos, has made historic leaps forward in regenerative medicine, yielding numerous therapeutic successes in just the past few years. (

In a conference call with journalists, Frank Donatelli, deputy chair of the Republican National Committee, was asked to explain McCain's ignorance of these major scientific and medical advances of adult research and his continued support for embryonic research.

According to Donatelli, McCain is watching very carefully the scientific developments on the matter so that "we won't have to go there."

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