Lawsuit Against Obama's Embryonic Stem Cell Policy Reinstated

A lawsuit against public funding of embryonic stem cell research was revitalized Friday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed the dismissal of a lawsuit that contends the Obama administration's embryonic stem cell research policy violates federal law. The court found that the plaintiffs have "competitive standing" to sue.

"Although private-sector funding of embryonic stem cell research has been practically unlimited, it has failed to produce results," said Alliance Defense Fund Senior Legal Counsel Steven H. Aden, in a statement.

ADF is a co-counsel in the case along with Advocates International in the case of Sherley v. Sebelius.

"In these difficult economic times, why should the federal government use precious taxpayer dollars for this illegal and unethical purpose?"

Many pro-life groups equate embryonic stem cell research with abortion because it necessitates the destruction of the embryo during the process of harvesting the stem cells.

Last March via executive order, President Obama changed the policy concerning embryonic stem cell research to allow public funding.

Opponents of such research say it violates a law known as the Dickey/Wicker Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from being used to destroy human embryos for research purposes.

Thomas G. Hungar, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, said the National Institutes of Health tried to avoid the law by funding everything but the act of "harvesting."

"[W]e are opposed to this proposed illegal and unethical federal funding of destructive embryonic research that would compel every American to cooperate with such unlawful human experimentation and the violation of our fundamental medical research ethic never to lethally experiment on one human being simply to benefit the interests of other human beings," said Dr. David Stevens, executive director of Christian Medical Association, an organization of over 16,000 doctors who are plaintiffs in the case.

Stevens and doctors in CMA maintain that research using adult stem cell lines not only avoids ethical issues, but has also proven to be more successful than embryonic stem cells research.

The case Sherley v. Sebelius has brought together a broad coalition of plaintiffs, including Dr. James L. Sherley, a former member of the MIT faculty who is currently working as a senior scientist at the Boston Biomedical Research Institute; Dr. Theresa Deisher, the founder of AVM Biotechnology; Nightlight Christian Adoptions; and the Christian Medical Association.

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