Obama’s Embryonic Stem Cell Research Blocked by Judge

By Annie Wu
Annie Wu
Annie Wu
Annie Wu joined the full-time staff at the Epoch Times in July 2014. That year, she won a first-place award from the New York Press Association for best spot news coverage. She is a graduate of Barnard College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
August 24, 2010 Updated: October 8, 2018

US District Judge Royce C. Lamberth, shown on December 15, 2005, temporarily blocked federal funding for embryonic stem cell research on Monday.  (Tim Sloan/Getty Images)
US District Judge Royce C. Lamberth, shown on December 15, 2005, temporarily blocked federal funding for embryonic stem cell research on Monday. (Tim Sloan/Getty Images)
A U.S. district judge issued an injunction to temporarily block federal funding for embryonic stem cell research on Monday, on the account that the research will destroy the embryos, violating a legislation that was passed in 1996.

This move by Judge Royce C. Lamberth, who is the justice for the District Court of the District of Columbia, strikes a heavy blow to the executive order issued by President Obama in 2009, which repealed former president George W. Bush’s ban on federal funding for stem cell research.

Obama’s new guidelines allowed the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on embryonic stem cells, which are able to divide and differentiate into any type of cell. Embryonic stem cell research has been highly controversial because removing the stem cells destroys the human embryo.

However, not all stem cell research involves embryonic cells. Adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, for example, do not involve the destruction of human embryos.

Judge Lamberth ruled that all embryonic stem cell research destroys the human embryo, and thus violates the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, reported CNN on Monday.

“The Dickey-Wicker Amendment unambiguously prohibits the use of federal funds for all research in which a human embryo is destroyed…Thus, if ESC [embryonic stem cell] research is research in which an embryo is destroyed, the [Obama] guidelines, by funding ESC research, violate the Dickey-Wicker Amendment,” Lambert wrote in his ruling.

The Dickey-Wicker Amendment states that the use of taxpayer money for research “in which human embryos are created, destroyed, discarded, or knowingly be subjected to risk of injury or death” is prohibited.

James Sherley and Theresa Deisher, two doctors who conduct research on adult stem cells, filed a lawsuit against the government’s guidelines, stating that the guidelines will increase competition for federal funding and cause them to lose out in their bids for research money from the National Institutes of Health, reported the Associated Press.

The lawsuit prompted Lamberth to review the guidelines and the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, concluding that all embryonic stem cell research would destroy human embryos and thus violate the legislation.

Annie Wu
Annie Wu joined the full-time staff at the Epoch Times in July 2014. That year, she won a first-place award from the New York Press Association for best spot news coverage. She is a graduate of Barnard College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.