WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 20, 2004) — The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) this week launches a nationwide two-week ad campaign highlighting the issue of stem cell research. The ads draw a clear distinction between embryonic stem cell research, which requires the destruction of human life at the embryonic stage, and adult stem cell research.
"Stem cell research is one of the most important moral issues of our day, but it is also one of the most distorted," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Esq., Director of Planning and Information for the USCCB's Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. "In the public debate, embryo-destructive research has been greatly hyped, while the proven results of ethical adult stem cell research are very nearly ignored."
"Our ads explain that adult stem cell research is already helping people with heart disease, spinal cord injury, Parkinson's and many other diseases. Embryonic stem cells, on the other hand, have not helped one single human patient, and they come with a hefty price tag: the deliberate destruction of human life," Ruse said. "As our ads state: science does not have to kill in order to cure."
The ads will appear in USA Today, The Washington Times and the National Catholic Reporter. The ads have also gone to dioceses nationwide for use in local publications. To view the ads, please visit www.usccb.org/prolife/stemcellads.htm.
The ads are part of an ongoing effort by the Bishops to provide more information on the Catholic Church's position on stem cell research and human cloning. In August they issued a flyer entitled "Stem Cell Research and Human Cloning: Questions and Answers," which was distributed in parishes and Catholic organizations across the county. To view the flyer, please visit www.usccb.org/prolife/stemcellQ&A.pdf.
"Despite exaggerated recent claims about the benefits of embryonic stem cell research, Americans strongly prefer funding research that does not require destroying human embryos," Ruse said. "According to a national survey conducted by International Communications Research, when given the choice to fund embryo-destructive research or alternatives such as adult stem cell research, Americans prefer funding adult stem cell research 61 to 23 percent."
"All human life deserves respect, and the lives of some must never be destroyed for the potential benefit of others," said Ruse. "Adult stem cell research shows that this science can proceed along ethical lines. Science does not have to kill in order to cure."