WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Backers of increased U.S. funding for embryonic stem cell research say they have doubts about the support of Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
McCain's efforts to win the backing of abortion rights opponents and religious conservatives has caused fears that the Arizona senator will reverse position on stem cell research, The Hill, a Washington political newspaper, reported Tuesday.
Even McCain backer Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware, the main Republican sponsor of stem cell research bills that were vetoed by President Bush, said he wasn't sure whether a President McCain would sign new legislation.
"Based on his votes in the Senate, the answer to that is yes," said Castle. "The question becomes: Will the pro-life movement be able to persuade him otherwise between now and the election?"
During GOP primaries, only McCain and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani supported more federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
Nevertheless, National Right to Life Committee Executive Director David O'Steen said he hopes McCain's position can be turned around.
"We'd be hopeful that he'd leave (Bush's) policy in place," O'Steen said, terming McCain's current position "an open question."
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