WASHINGTON: A coalition to advocate use of federal funds to support
embryonic stem cell research has been formed.
The groups involved include Parkinson's Action Network, Harvard
University, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDF), the Christopher
Reeve Paralysis Foundation and the American Society of Cell Biology,
Julia Kimbrough, national director of media for JDF, is keeping the
specifics of the PR component close to her chest. 'We will be working to
gain support on a grassroots level, but we do not want to divulge any
strategy yet,' she said.
The in-house teams of each organization will work together, and
Kimbrough emphasized that the coalition would seek no external PR
Stem cell research is controversial because of the way the tissue is
acquired - from spare embryos not used during in-vitro
'Embryonic stem cell research has nothing to do with abortions,'
Kimbrough said, explaining that this is one of the misconceptions the
coalition wants to counteract. Stem cells can also be retrieved from
Groups like the American Life League are mounting their own grassroots
effort to prevent federal funding. 'We would oppose this even if there
were health benefits,' said the group's media director, Scott Weinberg.