Obama Administration Asks Appeals Court To Lift Ban On Stem Cell Research Funding

Reuters: "The Obama administration on Wednesday asked an appeals court for an emergency stay that would lift the ban on federal funding of research involving human embryonic stem cells. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth last month ruled that the research violated U.S. law because it involved destroying human embryos, a setback for President Barack Obama who had tried to expand research in hopes it would lead to new cures of diseases. … The administration said in its emergency request that Lamberth's ruling was at odds with the intent of Congress when it wrote the law limiting federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research and that it would undercut ongoing medical research" (Pelofsky, 9/8).

Bloomberg: "Lamberth's order will preclude the National Institutes of Health from acting on grant applications that have already been reviewed and considering dozens of other applications that are in the review process, the U.S. wrote in its filing. It could take up to eight months to reinitiate the review process for grant applications, the U.S. said. One project that may be put on hold by Lamberth’s order is a long-term study of women aimed at finding treatments to infertility and ovarian disorders at the University of California, San Francisco. The study has been under way for four years and current funding runs out next March, said Marcelle Cedars, director of the Center for Reproductive Health" (McQuillen, 9/9).

CQ HealthBeat: "Advocates for vigorous federal funding of embryonic stem cell research are taking no relief from a federal judge's suggestion Tuesday that the Obama administration is overstating the impact of his Aug. 23 preliminary injunction to block the federal funding of research involving the destruction of human embryos. The judge, Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, issued an order Tuesday denying an emergency motion by government lawyers that he lift his ruling. Justice Department lawyers 'are incorrect about much of their "parade of horrible" that will supposedly result from this Court's injunction,' Lamberth said in denying the motion. The term 'parade of horribles' is meant to refer to an argument that is unsound" (Reichard, 9/8).

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