Betsy Bloomingdale, one of Mrs. Reagan’s closest friends, said Sunday that the stem-cell issue had in essence given Mrs. Reagan, 81, a meaning to her life. Beyond this, Mrs. Bloomingdale said, Mrs. Reagan and her daughter, Patti Davis, reconciled after a strained relationship. “The wonderful thing that has come into her life is stem cell,” Mrs. Bloomingdale said. “Her life has been that, and she’s had the children around, which is a wonderful thing, because Patti is in the fold. That’s been very special for her, and that’s been helpful.”
Though Mrs. Reagan never publicly criticized President Bush on the issue, several friends of hers said Sunday that Mrs. Reagan had been especially disappointed that Mr. Bush, and the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, were not as supportive on stem-cell research as she had hoped. “It angered her,” Mrs. Ribicoff said. “And I think when Nancy gets her body and heart back together, she’s going to work feverishly for stem-cell research and the Ronald Reagan library.”
On Sunday, Betty Adams, a Los Angeles friend of Mrs. Reagan’s for nearly 50 years, said of the stem-cell work: “She’s going to work for that very hard from now on.”
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Three years ago, Mrs. Reagan quietly wrote to Mr. Bush saying that she hoped to spare other families what hers had suffered and that stem-cell research could be part of her husband’s legacy. Since then, Mrs. Reagan has operated discreetly, making phone calls, sending letters and trying to avoid colliding with the Bush White House.
But early last month, in an unusual public appearance, Mrs. Reagan told a dinner sponsored by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: “Ronnie’s long journey has finally taken him to a distant place where I can no longer reach him. Because of this, I’m determined to do whatever I can to save other families from this pain. I just don’t see how we can turn our backs on this.”
The fact of the matter is that the President supports research with existing stem cell lines and has always supported research on adult stem cells. The President has opposed research on the stem cells of aborted children and opposes the creation of embryos to destroy them for research.
From my limited understanding and reading from the time the President made his compromise decision, it appears that working with adult stem cells is just as effective as working with abortion related stem cells.
But, the pro-abortion movement doesn’t see it that way and will yield no ground on the issue. So, now they will no doubt try to capture Mrs. Reagan as a celebrity for their cause, on the grounds that stem cell research would have saved President Reagan.
A shame. What is really ironic is that the people who will now turn Mrs. Reagan into a hero are the same people who despised her and her husband for years. The New York Times being chief among them.