June 30, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Despite flaunting a spotless pro-life voting record, Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman has confirmed that he supports stem-cell research that involves the destruction of human embryonic life.

Huntsman spokesperson Tim Miller sent a prepared statement to LifeSiteNews.com stating that the candidate “is a passionate supporter of stem cell research,” and that he supports federal funding “for lines that have a demonstrated history of success—adult stem cells, non-embryonic stem-cells and certain types of embryonic stem cell research.”

However, the statement said that Huntsman “opposes federal funding for new lines that would do harm to embryos.”

Huntsman, a nominal Mormon and recent ambassador to China under the Obama administration, emerged on the GOP 2012 scene on June 21, bearing an unusual mix of a strong pro-life voting record with a penchant for fiscal liberalism and a moderately “gay friendly” reputation.

Miller also confirmed that Huntsman will not sign the sweeping pro-life pledge authored by the Susan B. Anthony List for presidential candidates, a decision SBA List also confirmed Thursday with disappointment.

“There is a groundswell of support from the pro-life grassroots for the Presidential Pledge,” stated SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser in a press release. “So much so that our Citizen’s Pledge – signed by voters who vow to only vote for a presidential candidate who has signed the Presidential Pledge – garnered 10,000 signatures in its first week.  We certainly hope those candidate who have not signed take a good look at that growing number.”

In addition to Huntsman, Governor Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Governor Gary Johnson have also refused to sign the pledge. Those who signed on include U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Rick Santorum.

The Huntsman campaign’s statement regarding the pledge said that the candidate does not need to rely on a pledge, but is a “a life-long, no flip flops pro-lifer” and “has actually signed anti-abortion legislation into law - that’s a signature that makes a difference.”

The statement also pointed to Hunstman’s own openness to life, as father of seven, including one daughter adopted from China and another from India.