Romney is a strong supporter of stem cell research, but he is against the practice of cloning or embryo farming as a source for cells. He is also against federal funds being used for embryonic stem cell research.
"I am in favor of stem cell research. I am not in favor of creating new human embryos through cloning."
May 1, 2005, National Review Online,
“Stem cell research does not require the cloning of human embryos. Some stem cells today are obtained from surplus embryos from in-vitro fertilization. I support that research, provided that those embryos are obtained after a rigorous parental consent process that includes adoption as an alternative. Further, the greatest successes in stem cell research to date have come from the use of adult and umbilical cord stem cells. Stanford professor William Hurlbut, a physician and member of the President's Council on Bioethics, has proposed a promising approach. Known as altered nuclear transfer, this method could allow researchers to obtain embryonic stem cells without the moral shortcut of cloning and destroying a human embryo.”
March 6, 2005, The Boston Globe The problem with the stem cell bill
“I believe stem cell research is important to our state, for our nation, and I also believe there should be ethical lines drawn on the appropriate type of research. Stem cell research is important, and I’ll support it, and I’m gonna continue to encourage ethical lines to people be drawn in a way that respects human life…”
March 8, 2005, Tempe, Arizona
“Altered nuclear transfer creates embryo like cells that can be used for stem cell research. In my view that’s the most promising source. I have a deep concern about curing disease. I have a wife that has a serious disease that could be affected by stem cell research, but I will not, I will not create new embryos through cloning or through embryo farming because that would be creating life for the purpose of destroying it."
Chris Matthews: And you won’t take any from these fertility clinics to use either?
I’m happy to allow that, I shouldn’t say happy, it’s fine for that to be allowed, to be legal. I won’t use our government funds for that. Instead I want our government funds to be used on Doctor Hurlbut’s method which is altered nuclear transfer.”
May 3, 2007; MSNBC/Politico Republican Presidential Debate, Ronald Regan Presidential Library, Simi Valley
“I am glad that you raised that. The United States House of Representatives voted for a bill that was identical to what I proposed. What they voted for is what I proposed. Alright? They voted to provide for surplus embryos from invetro fertilization processes to be used for research and experimentation. That’s what I have said I support. That’s what they have just supported. What I said we should not do is to get into embryo farming, cloning for experimentation and a redefinition of when life begins. That’s what our legislature is doing. What our legislature has done goes well beyond what is done in Washington. What is done in Washington is consistent with what I have said I support which is using surplus embryos from fertilization processes. So it would be helpful if people pointed out that in fact what the US House of Representatives is doing is exactly what Governor Romney proposed. And what our legislature is doing is going in an entirely new direction that goes well beyond the boundary of ethics that has already been established.”
May 27, 2005; Romney explaining his veto for a contraception bill
Larry King: Your wife has multiple sclerosis, a disease some scientists think will be cured through stem cell research. How is she doing?
Mitt Romney: She's doing terrifically well. She's riding horses on a regular basis. She thinks that keeps her healthy and strong. And she's one of the few that has had very little progression from the disease. So I'm pleased and hopeful.
LR: Do you support the stem cell thing?
Romney: I support stem cell research. I do not support creating new embryos for the purpose of taking away the life of that embryo, and taking stem cells from those embryos. There are a lot of better ways than getting stem cells from --
LR: Even though they're probably never going to be lives?
Romney: If you create them in the laboratory, you're creating new life. And I wouldn't do that for the purpose of research, but there are fortunately much better ways of doing it, which has now been proven by scientists across the country.
LR: Do you think we're going to cure MS?
Romney: I sure hope so. I think eventually we'll be curing most of the major diseases we know during our lifetimes. But when these things get cured, that's going to be a long time down the road.