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Court: U.S. stem cell funding may continue

Sept. 28, 2010 at 8:20 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- An appeals court in Washington Tuesday permanently lifted a temporary injunction forbidding the U.S. government from funding human embryonic stem cell research.

The ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will allow federally funded research to go on while the Justice Department appeals a lower court ruling that such funding violates a federal rule prohibiting federal tax money from being used for research involving the destruction of human embryos.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs issued a statement saying President Barack Obama "made expansion of stem cell research and the pursuit of groundbreaking treatments and cures a top priority when he took office."

"We're heartened that the court will allow NIH [National Health Institute] and their grantees to continue moving forward while the appeal is resolved," Gibbs said.

District Court Judge Royce Lamberth, whose August ruling blocked federal funding for such research, subsequently refused to delay his injunction while the Obama administration appealed his decision, CNN reported.

The ruling came in a lawsuit against the institute brought by a number of plaintiffs, including researchers who oppose the use of embryonic stem cells, a group that seeks adoptive parents for human embryos created through in vitro fertilization, and the non-profit Christian Medical Association.

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