Michael J. Fox Fires Back at Critics

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Fox: Right, and I agree with them on adult stem cell research. I mean, let's talk about what we agree on. I agree that stem cell research is fantastic; we should pursue it. I agree that we should have no human cloning. We're against that. We're against egg farming, that notion. We agree on all of that.

The only thing is, we would like to include embryonic stem cell research, which our scientists say has the best hope for cures and breakthroughs.

See, we're in agreement. I think that when they say talk about not being fair, there has been, again, not as much focus on the content of the ad. It's really the appearance of the ad. But really, because all the statements are verifiable and to direct comparison, it is, in effect, an ad for their position. If you see the ad and you agree with their position, and there are people that do, then it should incentive you to vote for them.

Stephanopoulos: In the ad now running in Missouri, Jim Caviezel speaks in Aramaic. It means, "You betray me with a kiss." And his position, his point, is that actually even though down in Missouri they say the initiative is against cloning, it's actually going to allow human cloning.

Fox: Well, I don't think that's true. You know, I campaigned for Claire McCaskill. And so I have to qualify it by saying I'm not qualified to speak on the page-to-page content of the initiative. Although, I am quite sure that I'll agree with it in spirit, I don't know, I-- On full disclosure, I haven't read it, and that's why I didn't put myself up for it distinctly.

But I've made this point before, and I really am sincere in it, that anybody who's prayed on this, and thought about it, and really considered it and can't get their mind around or their heart around the idea of embryonic stem cell research, I'd go to war for your right to believe that. And you're right to feel that. I respect it. I truly do.

My point is, and our point as a community, is we have a very good and supportable conclusion that a vast majority of people in this country are in favor of science playing a leading role in making changes in the future and believe in embryonic stem cell research.

So we're just saying, know that we have prayed on it, too, and we have thought about it, and we are good people, and we are family people, and we are people that take this very seriously, and we're as concerned as you are.

And we've decided that we would like to take this step and to do it with caution and to do it with oversight and to do it with the strictest adherence to ethics and all of the principles this country stands for.

But, allow us to do that without infusing the conversation with inflammatory rhetoric and name-calling and fear-mongering. It doesn't help.

Stephanopoulos: Do you think there's any way to finally find common ground with people who do believe in the end that this is tampering with tiny lives?

Fox: Well, again, the point has been made that these lives are going to be thrown away, anyway. They are marked for destruction -- thousands of frozen embryos that are a byproduct of in vitro fertilization. We have routinely, before this conversation started on stem-cell research, we have for years thrown them away.

And that's the other thing, you know, this idea of snowflake babies: We're in favor of that. The truth of the matter is that it is only going to account for a tiny fraction--

Stephanopoulos: Those are the embryos that are adopted and then brought--

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