In a statement, Brownback, a Republican, says the policy change doesn't address the question of whether an embryo is a life or property.
“If an embryo is a life, and I believe strongly that it is life, then no government has the right to sanction their destruction for research purposes," Brownback said. "If embryos are property, then they may be disposed of as their owner chooses. I choose life and oppose the administration's action.”
Brownback says he does support efforts to further research on adult stem cells.
Complete statement from Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas
“The Administration’s policy change does not answer the central question: Do human embryos, which are clearly alive, constitute a life or mere property?” Brownback stated. “If an embryo is a life, and I believe strongly that it is life, then no government has the right to sanction their destruction for research purposes. If embryos are property, then they may be disposed of as their owner chooses. I choose life and oppose the Administration's action.”
After a decade of private and public research around the world, embryonic stem cell research, which requires alarming numbers of human embryos, each of which are destroyed in the process, has yet to yield any clinical trials or any real-world successes, and has to date caused serious problems including creating tumors in animal tests.
Brownback, along with many others, suggests focusing funds and efforts on non-destructive, non-controversial, and much more successful adult stem cell research, while being open to the induced Pluripotent Stem Cell technique, which allows for embryonic-type research without using or destroying human embryos.
Brownback continued, “There are exciting and numerous advances with adult stem cell research, including peer-reviewed successful human patient treatments for conditions including type-1 diabetes, spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s disease. It only makes sense to think of the patients first and focus federal dollars in these more promising areas, which do not cause serious moral concerns for many Americans.”