WALTHAM - Speaking at a bioethics forum, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Mitt [ROMNEY] yesterday endorsed embryonic stem cell research but avoided mention of human cloning, steering clear of a high- profile moral issue thrust into the public spotlight partly by Massachusetts scientists.
Both cloning and embryonic stem cells are closely tied to the national debate on abortion, on which Romney's stance has been called ambiguous by some. The two scientific techniques involve the destruction of early-stage embryos, and anti-abortiongroups have recently focused much of their energy on opposing the cutting-edge procedures.
Romney spoke at a Brandeis University-hosted forum on biomedical research. He endorsed embryonic stem cell research, saying the controversial science might one day help treat his wife's multiple sclerosis in addition to numerous other degenerative diseases. But he was silent on the other marquee bioethical issue of the day, cloning - even though the forum included a panel discussion on the topic.