Pro-Life Groups Blast Obama Admin’s Appeal of Embryonic Funding Ruling

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 31, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Groups Blast Obama Admin’s Appeal of Embryonic Funding Ruling

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 31
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — The decision by the Obama administration today to appeal a federal judge’s ruling — saying President Barack Obama’s executive order making Americans fund embryonic stem cell research with their tax dollars — is not going over well with pro-life organizations.

Federal District Court Judge Royce Lamberth issued the injunction against the government’s use of tax dollars for embryonic stem cell research based on a reading of the Dickey-Wicker amendment.

That 1996 law prohibits federal funding for research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed and was the foundation for legal challenge when Obama signed his 2009 order which allowed embryos to be destroyed in research paid for with tax dollars.

The Christian Medical Association, a party to the original lawsuit that led to the preliminary injunction, told today that "politics and greed have driven grants toward embryonic stem cell research — not a rational strategy to develop cures."

"The Obama administration should prioritize curing patients — not fighting the court ruling that has stopped their illegal funding of embryonic stem cell research," said CMA director Dr. David Stevens.

"The irrational insistence on diverting hundreds of millions of federal dollars away from proven sources of cures and toward speculative embryonic stem cell research has been driven by a political calculus and by a tax-dollar-dependent research community — not by a medical calculus that prioritizes real treatments for real patients," he said.

"Some researchers would have us believe, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, that somehow embryonic stem cells, which are incredibly unstable and form tumors, are actually the path to cures," Stevens continued. "But consider the source of such claims. The researchers making these claims are indelibly stamped with bias, since they depend on federal grants to fund their labs and research."

Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest was the first to respond.

She told the decision by the Department of Justice to appeal an injunction of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research is “not surprising, but not the biggest story here.”

“Adult stem cell research has yielded incredible, life-giving results for people with many diseases and disabilities, while the stem cell lines created by destroying unborn children has provided little hope for those suffering,” Yoest noted.

“Media reports indicate that more than $100 million in federal funds has been wasted on embryonic stem cell research in the last year alone," Yoest continued. "With our tax dollars, we should be investing in the adult stem cell research that works now and holds the greatest long-term promise for all Americans."

Stevens explained more about the profit motive behind those pushing for taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research.

"Consider also that some of the most prominent academic institutions — Stanford, the University of Wisconsin and Harvard University — actually hold patents on embryonic stem cell lines," he said. "They have focused on embryonic stem cell research not as a purely scientific endeavor, but also as a way to make money."

"Any medical journal would require them to state this conflict of interest when publishing an article about their research claims, but their allies in Washington never bother to note this self interest and bias, and the media seldom report it," Stevens explained.

But when it comes to helping patients, Stevens agreed with Yoest that adult stem cells — not embryonic — provide the most hope.

"Embryonic stem cell research is a long and difficult scientific path that could take decades to produce any useable results. Even in that unlikely event, cures would be too expensive for most patients. That is why savvy private investors are not putting money into speculation on such research," he said.

"The administration should focus our tax dollars on the quickest, surest path to cures. We are already seeing tremendous, proven results with stem cells that do not involve destroying an embryo," Stevens said.

He noted how there are 1,970 clinical trials with patients underway with adult stem cells, compared to only one with embryonic stem cells, and that one is highly controversial due to patient safety concerns.

"Over 80 diseases are being treated using adult stem cells, and more are being added. Induced pluripotent stem cells don’t involve the destruction of human beings, are readily available, cheaper to use and tissue-match the patients," he said.

Dr. Stevens asserted, "Lets put our federal research dollars where we can get real cures real fast. Let’s advance ethical stem cell research without using human embryos as lab rats."

Related web sites:
Americans United for Life –
Christian Medical Association –


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