WASHINGTON (BP) — The Supreme Court declined Monday (Jan. 7) to hear a case about the Obama administration’s funding of embryonic stem cell research, thereby allowing the continued use of taxpayer dollars for studies that require the destruction of human embryos.
The high court refused to hear an appeal from two scientists who have been challenging the funding.
“Americans should not be forced to pay for experiments that destroy human life, have produced no real-world treatments, and violate federal law — especially in burdened fiscal times like these,” said Steven H. Aden, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which helped litigate the case against the Obama administration.
“Congress designed a law to ensure that Americans don’t pay any more precious taxpayer dollars for needless research made irrelevant by adult stem cell and other research,” Aden said in a news release. “That law is clear, and we had hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold its clear intent.”
At issue is whether the Obama administration’s policy violates the 1996 Dickey-Wicker Amendment, an annual spending bill rider which bars federal funds for “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.”
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in August upheld a federal judge’s dismissal of a legal challenge to Obama’s 2009 executive order that overturned a more restrictive funding policy under President George W. Bush. As a result, federal guidelines continued to allow funding for research on stem cells derived from embryos created by in vitro fertilization.
Many scientists and biotech firms have promoted embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) — and federal funds for the experimentation — even though the extraction of such cells from an embryo results in the destruction of the days-old human being. (Read more here.)