Senator Specter: ‘I certainly would never agree to cloning.’

Date: 04/16/2002

Below is a comparison between Senator Arlen Specter’s comments April 10, 2002 compared to his comments from July 8 and June 21, 2001.

April 10, 2002
Press Conference with Senator Arlen Specter on Therapeutic Cloning

“It is with respect and regret that I disagree with President Bush’s statement opposing research or so-called therapeutic cloning. The president made a powerful statement in opposition to reproductive cloning, and I believe that there is general agreement that reproductive cloning is unwise.

“But I believe it would be a grave mistake to enact the Brownback bill, which would criminalize therapeutic cloning and, in effect, tie the hands of scientists on the potential for great advances in medical science, which pose the realistic possibility of curing Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s, and cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, heart ailments and a wide variety of other ailments.”

July 8, 2001
Face the Nation, CBS News

“I believe today in the Congress, there are overwhelming majorities in favor of, Gloria, not only of stem cell research once the stem cells have been extracted but also in federal funding to extract the stem cells where you don’t have private companies doing it, where you have pro–prohibition against cloning. I certainly would never agree to cloning. I certainly would never agree to destroying a stem cell if there was any chance at all, any chance at all, that that embryo would turn into a–a human being. I think there are more than 70 votes today in the Senate. And there’s a groundswell in America because so many people have personal experience with the availability of these stem cells to save the lives of their loved ones.”

June 21, 2001
The Edge with Paula Zahn, Fox News

“Private companies are creating embryos specifically for stem cells, and I think that’s a very bad idea. The legislation which I have proposed with many co-sponsors would put some federal regulation on that, would prevent that, would stop the risk of cloning and would use only the embryos which are already in existence. I’m not saying we ought to create embryos for scientific purposes, which gets on the path of cloning.”

Note: Typeface in bold above is added emphasis and was not in the original transcripts.