Ronald Reagan’s Oldest Son Sets the Record Straight

Michael Reagan, the son of the late former U.S. president, has come out criticizing the media for portraying the Reagan “family” as supportive of embryonic stem cell research, “when the truth is that two members of the family have been long-time foes of this process of manufacturing human beings – my dad, Ronald Reagan during his lifetime, and me.” The criticism came in a syndicated column titled “I’m With My Dad on Stem Cell Research.”

Michael quotes William Clark, his father’s national security advisor and one of Ronald Reagan’s closest friends, who wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times: His “suffering under Alzheimer's disease was tragic, and we should do everything we can that is ethically proper to help others afflicted with it. But I have no doubt that he would have urged our nation to look to adult stem cell research — which has yielded many clinical successes — and away from the destruction of developing human lives, which has yielded none. Those who would trade on Ronald Reagan's legacy should first consider his own words,” he added.

Michael Reagan discredits scientists who make exaggerated claims for embryonic stem cell treatments: “Listen to what Ronald D.G. McKay, a stem cell researcher at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke told the Washington Post: ‘People need a fairy tale,’ he said, explaining why scientists have allowed society to believe wrongly that [embryonic] stem cells are likely to effectively treat Alzheimer's disease. He added ‘Maybe that's unfair, but they need a story line that's relatively simple to understand.’”

Michael also quotes Washington Post correspondent Rick Weiss who writes that Alzheimer’s is among the least likely of diseases to benefit from embryonic stem cell research. He says that “people like Nancy Reagan” believe “a distortion” that scientists are unwilling to correct. “Why?” Weiss asks, rhetorically. “The false story line helps generate public support for the biotech political agenda,” he answers. Nancy Reagan’s support of embryonic stem cell research “is the kind of advocacy that researchers have craved for years, and none wants to slow its momentum.”

A statement by a group of Senators and Republican National Coalition for Life members adds: “The claim that former President Reagan would have approved experiments that kill tiny human embryos is an insult to his memory and a complete distortion of his position of profound respect for the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death. One need only read his 1983 essay, 'Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation' to know this.”

Michael Reagan concludes with a message to the media: “Next time you write about the ‘family’ remember both dad and me. It’s our family too.”

See also:

Read Michael Reagan’s column I’m With My Dad on Stem Cell Research

Read Ronald Reagan’s Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation

(This update courtesy of

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