National

Aug 24, 2012 11:55 AM by Kirsten Bennett

Court: Government can fund embryonic stem cell research

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal appeals court says the Obama administration's funding of embryonic stem cell research in hopes of curing deadly diseases can continue, despite complaints the work relies on destroyed human embryos.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a decision throwing out a lawsuit that challenged federal funding for the research. Opponents claimed the National Institutes of Health was violating the 1996 Dickey-Wicker law that prohibits taxpayer financing for work that harms an embryo.

But a three-judge appeals court panel unanimously agreed with a lower court judge's dismissal of the case.

Chief Judge David B. Sentelle says in the ruling that "Dickey-Wicker permits federal funding of research projects that utilize already-derived" embryonic stem cells because no "human embryo or embryos are destroyed" in such projects.

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