Sorry, Nancy, but the Gipper wouldn’t have approved.

While Nancy Reagan is urging the Bush administration to reverse its opposition to federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, a document has surfaced indicating President Reagan would not have supported his wife’s campaign.

The order was to “continue and broaden the [1988] moratorium on NIH [National Institute of Health] grants for certain types of fetal experimentation,” according to Charles Colson, the former Nixon aide who now leads a Christian ministry, Prison Fellowship.

Colson, in his daily radio commentary, said he received the document from William Clark, Reagan’s national security adviser and close personal friend.

“Reagan took a clear stand against research that would harm or destroy ‘any living child in utero,’ in all stages of development in which scientists were then able to experiment on them,” Colson said.

Clark insists Reagan clearly was opposed to funding embryo research.

Writing recently in the New York Times, he said, “After the charter expired for the Departments of Health, Education and Welfare’s ethical advisory board – which in the 1970s supported destructive research on human embryos – [Reagan] began a de facto ban on federal financing of embryo research that he held to throughout his presidency.”

The presidential adviser also noted Reagan, in his 1993 speech known for it’s “evil empire” reference, “spoke strongly against the denegration of innocent human life.”

“And [Reagan] favored bills in Congress that would have given every human being – at all stages of development – protection as a person under the 14th Amendment,” Clark said.

Reagan also favored a Human Life Amendment defining life as beginning at conception.

So on point after point, Bush and Reagan would have solidly agreed on these issues. And bloggers like this and that, and the others that seem to think there’s some kind of conflict in values here need to re-learn what Ronald Reagan himself really believed.

And Bronson’s got it right. “I could be wrong, but from what I’ve seen, I do not believe that President Reagan would have wanted Nancy or his children to advocate for killing embryos just because it would benefit him personally.”

Clark puts some words in Reagan’s mouth, but I think they’re perfectly fitting coming from a conservative like him:

In addition, Clark notes, Reagan “would have asked the marketplace question: If human embryonic research is so clearly promising as the researchers assert, why aren’t private investors putting [their] money into it, as they are in adult stem-cell research?”

Consider that.

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