Day Two - "Strongest voice" has laryngitis on Stem Cells
July 21, 2006 - Day two and Steve Laffey continues to remain silent about his position on stem cell research, refusing to let citizens of Rhode Island know if he opposes research into stem cells. In interviews, Mayor Laffey has offered contradictory positions on stem cell research.
"This is an important issue. It needs to be decided on principle and not polling data," said U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee. "Mr. Laffey owes the people of Rhode Island a clear and unequivocal answer. Does Mr. Laffey believe in giving scientists the support they need to potentially defeat diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and multiple sclerosis. These diseases impact over 100 million Americans, and the countless Rhode Island families who have been affected by these debilitating illnesses deserve an explanation for why Mr. Laffey refuses to take a side on this groundbreaking research."
Citing the potential to treat and possibly cure deadly and disabling diseases that affect more than 100 million Americans, U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee has been a leader in the effort to expand the President's stem cell research policy to include stem cell lines from embryos created at fertility clinics that are in excess of clinical need. Further, Chafee has supported two additional measures, one of which would encourage the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore alternatives to embryonic stem cell research without destroying embryos. The second prohibits scientists from cultivating embryos whether by a natural pregnancy or by artificial means exclusively for research purposes.
"I guess the strongest voice' in Rhode Island contracted a case of laryngitis," said Ian Lang, Chafee Campaign Manager. "Either that or Mayor Laffey hasn't received the poll numbers on stem cell research yet. I hope that Mr. Laffey will heed Senator Chafee's advice and let Rhode Islanders know where he stands on this important issue. Barring that, perhaps his special interest backers, the Club for Growth, will let Mr. Laffey know what position he should take."