Attorneys for Scientists, Pro-Life Groups Respond to Appeals Court-ESCR Ruling
by Steven Ertelt
September 9, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life legal organization representing two scientists who took the Obama administration to court over the executive order President Barack Obama issued forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research, are responding to the decision today by an appeals court to reinstate that funding.
The court overturned the injunction of a federal judge who said the funding violated federal law, but did not issue a ruling on the case itself.
The Alliance Defense Fund is co-counsel in a lawsuit against the policy, which the district court halted on August 23.
The American people should not be forced to pay for even one more day of experiments that destroy human life, have produced no real-world treatments, and violate an existing federal law, said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Steven H. Aden.
He continued, "The district courts decision simply enforced that law, which prevents Americans from paying another penny for needless research on human embryos made irrelevant by adult stem cell and other research. 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.
Meanwhile, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said he believes the ruling is a "step backward, moving us further from effective treatments of those in need."
"Federal money should be targeted where it can make a positive difference, and embryonic stem cells don’t meet that standard," Perkins added.
"This ruling amounts to saying that the government can fund an activity that is legally questionable while the legality is being determined by the courts. Judge Lamberth’s preliminary injunction to stop human embryonic stem cell research was perfectly reasonable given that funding such research certainly appears to violate current law," Perkins continued.
"If the Appeals court wants to consider the government’s appeal, that is understandable, but it is irresponsible to fund something of questionable legality. This amounts to claiming that the activity is in fact legal," he said.
Perkins said the problem with the decision is it hurts adult stem cell research — which is helping patients now wheras embryonic stem cell research has yet to help anyone because of problems associated with it causing tumors and facing immune system rejection issues.
"By re-opening the door to funding human embryonic research, the court is opening up taxpayer funds to create an incentive to create and destroy more human embryos for their stem cells," he said. "This decision only diverts scarce resources away from stem cell treatments that are helping people now, for diseases such as spinal cord injury, diabetes, leukemia, blindness and heart disease."
"American patients should not be lining up to visit Germany for a heart stem cell treatment, while the government continues to pour money into embryonic stem cell research that not only is unethical, but has not treated a single human being," Perkins told LifeNews.com.
"We hope that the Court will at least move swiftly to deny the Department of Justice appeal, and that federal taxpayer funds will be diverted toward lifesaving adult stem cells. We also call on Congress to put patients first by passing the bi-partisan Patient’s First Act sponsored by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) to ensure federal dollars are going to stem cell treatments, not embryo destructive research," he concluded.
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