This afternoon, a federal appeals court lifted an injunction that barred the federal government from funding human embryonic stem cell research pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s new policies on the controversial field of science. The decision today to lift the injunction means the NIH can continue funding embryonic stem cell research as the original case works its way through the court process.
Today’s decision lifts the temporary injunction ordered on August 23 by U.S. District Judge Lamberth. Ruling in a case filed by two scientists working on alternatives to the cells, Lamberth found that federal funding of embryonic stem cell research violates long-standing law prohibiting federal tax money from being used for research that involves the destruction of human embryos.
The Obama Administration appealed the August 23 ruling, and on September 9 the federal appeals court had temporarily allowed the research to resume – a decision we applauded. Carlea Bauman, President of the Colorectal Cancer Coalition issued the following statement after the September 9 ruling,
“We applaud the Court of Appeals for its action. Embryonic stem cell research plays an important role in the scientific battle against many diseases – and federal funding is vital to this type of research. We urge Congress to act quickly so that not another day is wasted.”
While today’s decision is very good news for the research community, the final outcome of this case remains uncertain. The Colorectal Cancer Coalition will continue to push for legislation to allow federal support of ethical and life-saving research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells regardless of the date on which the stem cells were derived from a human embryo.