Santorum is against using embryonic stem cells for research purpose. In 2005, Santorum came out strongly against fellow Republican, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, for his proposal to increase funding for research involving thousands of leftover frozen embryos from fertility treatments. In an appearance on ABC’s This Week, Santorum had this to say.
“Well, I disagree with Senator Frist. I think that you cannot take a utilitarian approach to human life. And this is an innocent human life. You’re destroying this life for the purpose of research which has questionable value. There’s all sorts of misinformation out there that, you know, this research may not ever end up to be helpful therapeutic…
You must be against destroying human embryos to get embryonic stem cells. One of the things I guess was most disappointing is that we’ve seen over the last six months a whole bunch of scientific theories come forward as to how to actually get embryonic stem cells without destroying a human embryo. And in fact, I’ve been working on a bill with Senator Frist and Senator Enzi and Senator Isakson to try to put forward a funding proposal for the NIH to look at alternative ways to get these pluripotent cells, or these embryonic stem cells, without creating a human embryo and without then killing that embryo to get the cells. So, there are four or five different technologies that are potentially viable to get these cells, and I don’t think we need to go down this path.”
Jul 31, 2005; Santorum in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on This Week
Two weeks earlier, Santorum spoke against the proposal on the Senate floor.
“It’s an important moment for us in this country. This is about the value of human life. I know people will dismiss that as, well, they would be discarded anyway. All I can suggest is that every life, whether it’s in a suspended state in an IVF clinic, or they’re standing on the floor of the United States Senate attempting to defend and protect those suspended lives, every life, has meaning. Every life deserves protection under our constitution.
Our constitution protect persons. A very interesting word that our Founders used. They used the term persons. That’s why we gotta debate in this country for half a century, or more actually, since its founding I guess, of what a person is under the Constitution. And we are gonna say with respect to embryos in an IVF clinic that they are not people. We’re gonna say that this five day old embryo created by a couple who wanted life. Think about that. Every one of these embryos was created because a couple wanted desperately to create human life … and what we’re gonna say is that the life created is not a person. Doesn’t really exist from the standpoint of the Constitution. I think that it’s sort of hard for my mind to square with that.”
July 18, 2006; Santorum speaking against the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005 in the Senate