August 24th, 2010
11:57 AM ET
12 years ago

White House reviewing ruling against embryonic stem cell research

(CNN) - Administration officials are still reviewing a federal judge's decision to grant a preliminary injunction stopping federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said Tuesday.

They are "exploring all possibilities" to allow such research to continue, Burton told reporters at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where President Barack Obama is on vacation.

Monday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth could even cut off stem cell research that was allowed under former President George W. Bush, Burton said. Obama believes embryonic stem cell research conducted under "stringent ethical guidelines" is critical, the spokesman added.

Obama signed an executive order in March 2009 that repealed a Bush-era policy limiting federal dollars for human stem cell research. Obama's act permitted the National Institutes of Health to conduct and fund studies on embryonic stem cells.

Lamberth's ruling, however, said aid for research that involves the destruction of embryos violates a key amendment currently governing federal spending bills.

soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. jenn, philadelphia

    No where was stem cell research made illegal. It just says that the Federal government won't pay for it. If you believe in the cause, donate to private research facilities. It isn't as if these researchers are using discarded embryos any way. Some are using the existing stem cell lines, and some are making new ones by creating embryos and harvesting the cells. Also, pay attention to medical news. They have also made great progress in adult stem cell research.

    August 24, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    BTW, thinking it through, I should correct myself from yesterday. The fix is easier than repealing the Dicky-Wicker Amendment....which clearly would be a politically stupid thing to attempt right now. All that needs to happen is for the Amendment not to be included in the next Appropriations Act and this activist decision becomes entirely moot. Either that or enact a replacement Amendment that is far more clear about the intended limitations, as opposed to the current one that allows purposeful misinterpretation by an ideologue judge to expand its meaning.

    I'm glad the Obama administration is "exploring all possibilities," but really the only possibility that makes any practical sense is this: propose an appropriations bill in 2011 that does not contain Dicky-Wicker or contains some better drafted provision and thereby force the GOP to choose between funding the operation of the federal government or harming national security by failing to do so based on this issue alone.

    August 24, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    Another bought and paid for rethug judge.
    Who is this man who thinks he can dictate what happens in people's lives when it comes to science?
    I hope he never had a family member with a disease that can be cured because of stem cell reserach. Than again . . . .

    August 24, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. usualone

    What century does this judge live in? No one is going to claim these stem cells that he won't let be used to help with medical issues. He needs to look at the whole picture and not stick to his narrow point of view.

    August 24, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. water bearer

    to Alan: "Translation: "Let's see how we can create an even larger market for dead babies."

    Alan, they are not "dead babies". They are embryos. They cannot survive on their own. They do not breathe. They do not eat. They do not cry. They are embryos which, if not used for research which will benefit thousands of sick LIVING people, will be thrown in the garbage.

    August 24, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. Duck Fallas

    If you rub stem cells on your face, you get a nice, orange tan.

    August 24, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. MDM

    do you people not read? only Federal funding has been quashed – not "blocking" the science. Maybe not a bad idea for the federal gubmint to slow down on trying to support anything and everything...

    August 24, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Duck Fallas

    Stem cell research may lead to a cure for pedophelia, which is why the church is opposed.

    August 24, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    "This whole story reminds me a little known story I read about the A-bomb. Do you guys know that the British had the chance to develop the A-bomb and wasted it? Because some 'high ranked' military officers thought that the usefulness of science (particularly the nuclear physics) was way overestimated and thus they would NOT spend money on it since they truly BELIEVED that it was waste of time?"

    Dude... you really need to do some research on the Manhattan Project. The Brits were in the throes of WWII long before the Manhattan Project ever started. They did not have the resources, neither natural resources nor financial resources, to undertake such a massive project. Great Britian was far to small of a country, geographically, to ensure the secrecy such a project would need to succeed. Not to mention they were being bombed by the German Luftwaffe and V-2 rockets on a daily basis.

    But go ahead and try to peddle your revisionist history on the ignorant in an effort to get others to agree with your political views.

    August 24, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. msg

    Of course he said no! He probably isn't a fan of the president and is one of those stuck in the 1700's people who hate ANYTHING progressive, especially in the feild of SCIENCE!

    What do you wanna bet this guy doesn't even KNOW how to check his email? Like John McCain?

    August 24, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. Linda

    Sad to say we have one of the worse health care systems in the world. But it is also a fact that the United States also has the best doctors in the world. When it comes to medical technology please lets keep the U.S. on top.

    August 24, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. Tom C

    A Goodwin: So why aren't you ought there begging women to murder their babies so you can have stem cell research to help your son. It is not a religious point of view, but a scientific fact that life starts at conception. You can deny this all you want to, but it does not change the truth. I guess you would advocate paying money to expectant mothers to kill their babies so we can have fresh stem cells. I am sorry for you and those who do not believe that life exists before actuall birth.

    August 24, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. The Other Michael in Houston

    Wow Alan. I gues you believe that man started with Adam and Eve which would mean we are all creatures of incest, isn't that right brother-cousin-uncle? The whole arguement against stem cell research is bogus. I hope none of you suffer a crippling spinal cord injury, then we will see what you think about stem cell research

    August 24, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. Marie

    I find it fasinating that the people oppose to stem cell research also support war. War = death and destruction of innocent lives. Doesn't make sense does it?

    August 24, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. echo40

    I believe this judge and all those who are against science should sign a pledge that they and their off sprint will not take any medication, use any medical equipment, or any medical procedure based on stem cell research.

    These people who benefit from modern technology and trash it at the same time based on their ignorance.

    August 24, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. ETM

    An appeals court will reverse this soon enough. This has always been an absurd issue since the researcher use only embryos that are going to be destroyed anyway.

    August 24, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. Phil in KC

    When did we become a theocracy? If it's bad for Muslim countries, then it's bad for other countries as well – including the US.

    August 24, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. GonzoinHouston

    How did this Dicky-Wicker (what a name!) amendment get into the current budget in the first place?

    August 24, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. linus

    Sounds like judicial activism to me...

    August 24, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. ghp

    If these stem cells are consider scared, should we not be putting them in a gold or silver box and conducting a funeral ceremony. To whom do I send a card or flowers to?

    August 24, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. M Barak

    here is another industry the U.S. is shifting abroad - as if 8 years of Bush/neocon policies were not enough to sink this country... now the Republican are really working hard to finish what Bush/neocon could not finish in 8 years.

    August 24, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  22. The reality is...

    It's not stem cell research many are opposed to, folks, it's "embryonic" stem cell research which thus far has not been proven to help in any way. And just because some of you call an embryo "medical waste" does not mean it is waste. Obviously, people who consider it more valuable don't want their tax dollars spent destroying it. Do what you want with your own money.

    T'SAH – He gave Hitler a brain, too.

    August 24, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. a little sad

    Alan August 24th, 2010 12:15 pm ET

    Translation: "Let's see how we can create an even larger market for dead babies."


    Whose uterus are you offering to bring these incubate these embryos? Are you planning on carrying them?

    August 24, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
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