Groups Behind Obama Embryonic Stem Cell Research Lawsuit Applaud Decision
by Steven Ertelt
August 24, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Two of the groups behind the lawsuit against the Obama administration over President Barack Obama’s decision to force taxpayers to fund destructive embryonic stem cell research are applauding a judge’s decision on Monday to temporarily halt the funding while the lawsuit proceeds.
The Christian Medical Association was one of the parties that brought the lawsuit saying the Obama executive order and subsequent funding from the National Institutes of Health violated the Dickey amendment, a federal law prohibiting taxpayer funding of research that destroys human embryos.
David Stevens, MD, the head of the CMA, responded: "This case highlights the harm that diverting federal funds away from proven effective research poses to those patients who are waiting for cures. We are grateful that the Court also recognizes the clarity of the law and the harm that funding illegal and unethical embryo-destroying research poses to ethical researchers."
"The bottom line is that ethical stem cell research that does not destroy a living human embryo is the fastest, most efficient and effective means to obtaining real cures for real patients," he told LifeNews.com. "Already providing hope and help for patients with over 70 diseases, ethical stem cell research that does not destroy living human embryos holds proven promise for even more amazing breakthroughs in the future."
The Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-life legal group that served as co-counsel in the case, also hailed the order that prevents the Obama administration from carrying out its embryonic stem cell research policy while the court considers the lawsuit.
The American people should not be forced to pay for experiments–prohibited by federal law–that destroy human life," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Steven Aden.
"The court is simply enforcing an existing law passed by Congress that prevents Americans from paying another penny for needless research on human embryos," he continued. No one should be allowed to decide that an innocent life is worthless."
Aden said, "Experimentation on embryonic stem cells isn’t even necessary because adult stem cell research has been enormously successful. In economic times like we are in now, it doesn’t make sense for the federal government to use precious taxpayer dollars for this illegal and unethical purpose.
The district courts preliminary injunction order states: If one step of an ESC [embryo steam cell] research project results in the destruction of an embryo, the entire project is precluded from receiving federal funding by the Dickey-Wicker Amendment.
Because ESC research requires the derivation of ESCs, ESC research is research in which an embryo is destroyed. Accordingly, the Court concludes that, by allowing federal funding of ESC research, the Guidelines are in violation of the Dickey-Wicker Amendment," the court added.
The Obama administration can try to appeal the decision granting the preliminary injunction or could try to rewrite the guidelines to comply with the law.
Dr. Theresa Deisher, of AVM Biotechnology and Dr. James L. Sherley, a former MIT professor and scientist, are also parties to the lawsuit because they say the Obama order sends funding for their adult stem cell research to scientists working with unproven embryonic stem cells.
"There is no after-the-fact remedy for this injury because the Court cannot compensate plaintiffs for their lost opportunity to receive funds," Lamberth wrote.
He said his order would not hurt embryonic stem cell researchers because they have the opportunity to find private funds.
Sam Casey, General Counsel of Advocates International’s Law of Life Project, a public interest legal project also involved in the case, pointed out that NIH officials have admitted they violated the public comment process by ignoring the majority of comments coming from pro-life advocates opposed to destroying unborn children for their stem cells.
"The majority of the almost 50,000 comments that the NIH received were opposed to funding this research, and by its own admission, NIH totally ignored these comments," he said. "The so-called spare human embryos being stored in IVF clinics around the United States are not ‘in excess of need,’ as the NIH in its guidelines callously assert. They are human beings in need of biological or adoptive parents."
Embryonic stem cell research has yet to help a single patient, unlike adult stem cell research — which has helped patients with more than 100 diseases and medical conditions and which President Bush supported with hundreds of millions in federal funding.
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