TODAY'S QUESTION: Should federal money be used for embryonic stem cell research?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | 12:22 p.m. CDT

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth has issued a preliminary injunction that will temporarily halt federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, an elbow in the side of the Obama administration, which placed guidelines to allow the funding last year.

According to an article on, Lamberth ruled that this kind of research involves the destruction of human embryos, which is “unabiguously” prohibited in federal spending bills. In response, the Obama administration could appeal the ruling or try to rewrite the guidelines.

Obama adjusted research policies at the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, shortly after taking office, a New York Times article said. The NIH created a process that would discern which embryonic stem cells could be studied under federally funded research. The guidelines say that labs using federal money may not create embryonic stem cells, but may study those brought in from other labs.

Key legislation regarding stem cells is the Dickey-Wicker amendment, which was adopted in 1996 and bans the use of tax money for embryo creation or for research that destroys or throws out human embryos. Congress adds this amendment to the appropriations bill every year.

Considering embryos are destroyed once stem cells are taken out of them, a loophole was created that allowed research on already extracted stem cells. The Bush administration introduced and created this loophole, but shut doors when expansion was in the works.

Columbia couple Chad and Tanya Tatro decided to adopt their son through Nightlight Christian Adoptions and its Snowflakes Frozen Embryo Adoption Program, which matches searching couples with women who have decided to freeze and donate their embryos for adoption. A 2007 Missourian article reported that embryo adoption is considered during fertilization, where excess embryos are kept instead of being thrown out or donated to stem-cell researchers.

Should federal money be used for embryonic stem cell research?

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Carlos Sanchez August 24, 2010 | 1:42 p.m.

Yes they should and this great organization is just one reason why.

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