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Federal court allows stem cell funding to continuecomment (0)

October 14, 2010


WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court ruled Sept. 26 that government funding of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) may continue while a legal challenge to the Obama administration’s policy on the lethal experimentation goes forward.

A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a new suspension of a federal judge’s Aug. 23 ruling that had halted funding of ESCR under guidelines published last year by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). President Obama had issued an executive order earlier in 2009 overturning a more restrictive funding policy and ordering NIH to devise guidelines consistent with his decree.

The ability of stem cells to convert to other cells and tissues has provided great hope for developing cures for various diseases, but extracting stem cells from an embryo results in the destruction of the days-old human being. ESCR has not proven as effective as other forms of stem cell experimentation that do not harm the donor. It has yet to provide any treatments for human beings and has been plagued by tumors in lab animals.

Southern Baptist pro-life leader Richard Land called it “a sad day for America and an excruciating day for American taxpayers.”

The White House applauded the decision.

“President Obama made expansion of stem cell research and the pursuit of groundbreaking treatments and cures a top priority when he took office,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. “We’re heartened that the court will allow NIH and their grantees to continue moving forward while the appeal is resolved.”

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