Huffpost Politics

Stem Cell Backers Question Where McCain Stands

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MADISON, Wis. - Some of the nation's top embryonic stem cell research advocates say they are growing concerned that Sen. John McCain will backtrack on his previous support for the work if elected president.

The Republican senator from Arizona has supported lifting President Bush's ban on using federal money to create new stem cell lines from surplus embryos and to award more grants to researchers studying them. His rival for the presidency, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, has a similar position on the research that holds promise to treat a range of disease.

The agreement has helped make the research less of a hot-button issue this cycle than it was in 2004 and 2006, when Democrats argued President Bush's stance was cruel and anti-science. Social conservatives who oppose the work because it involves the destruction of days-old human embryos rallied behind the GOP.