Missouri Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research Funds

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 13, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research Funds

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 13
, 2008

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a pro-life group against making taxpayers fund embryonic stem cell research. The judge ruled on a suit related to blocking $21 million in public funds from going to the Life Sciences Research Board for the controversial science.

Cole County Judge Richard Callahan issued his ruling on Wednesday and said the court can’t block the funding because there is no legal dispute.

He also ruled that the lawsuit is merely requesting an advisory opinion.

Fred N. Sauer, a founder of the Missouri Roundtable for Life and a plaintiff in the case, told AP that his organization plans to appeal the decision.

"We will not let tax dollars go unrestricted to these groups that are privately controlled and may be used to make profits off abortions and research the Legislature banned," he said.

In July, Callahan denied a request from pro-life advocates to temporarily stop the funds from going to the board for 15 days.

The board plans to disburse the funds early next year for the stem cell research grants it is considering funding. Pro-life groups don’t want to see money go to scientists who are destroying human beings in research that kills them for their stem cells.

Missouri Roundtable for Life initially filed the lawsuit in June and pro-life attorney Ed Martin said the Amendment 2 that state voters narrowly adopted in 2006 makes it difficult to know if any limits can be put in place on where public funds go and if they can be used for embryonic stem cell research.

The organization says it wants to protect public funds from being spent in ways that conflict with existing Missouri law and with the will of the Missouri legislature.

“We are asking the Court to answer two very simple questions," Sauer explains.

“First, do the prohibitions on the use of public funds for abortion services, human cloning, and prohibited human research that are part of the Life Sciences Trust Fund law still apply after the voters passed Amendment 2 in 2006?" he asked.

"And, second, does Amendment 2 limit the appropriation authority of the legislature by requiring that any institution that does certain research never have its state appropriation reduced in subsequent years?” he added.

The Life Sciences Trust fund includes specific funding prohibitions imposed by law at its formation in 2003; specifically, there are prohibitions against the use of public funds from the Fund for abortion services, human cloning, and prohibited human research.

Missouri taxpayers need to know if these prohibitions remain in force or if they have been changed in any way, the group says.

Related web sites:
Missouri Roundtable for Life – https://www.moroundtable.org

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