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Americans United for Life: Obama Administration Stem Cell Policy an Anti-Life Waste of Tax Dollars

WASHINGTON, March 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President Obama signed an executive order today authorizing more federal taxpayer spending for human embryonic stem cell research, overturning limits on federal funding for such research in place since 2001.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President & CEO of Americans United for Life responded, "Embryonic stem cell research is the research of the past. Millions of dollars have been spent on embryonic stem cell research and it has failed. To pour more money into it is simply a waste."

Dr. Yoest continued, "Even more, this research destroys lives at the very earliest stage of development. Adult stem cell research is helping people now. If we're going to put tax dollars into research -- particularly at a time of unprecedented federal deficits -- it needs to be research that protects life and helps patients now."

There is a critical difference between adult (or better, non-embryonic) stem cells and embryonic stem cells. Non-embryonic stem cells have a clear record of medical success without ethical controversy. Despite years of research, human embryonic stem cells have yet to be used in real therapies for patients.

Recent advances in reprogramming cells -- induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) -- only bolster the case that this new policy is nothing short of wasteful. Researchers are moving to the field of iPSC research because these cells are relatively easy to produce and do not require the use of human eggs or the destruction of human embryos.

Clarke Forsythe, Senior Counsel for Americans United for Life, stated, "It's very troubling that, one by one, the Obama Administration is needlessly pulling down effective laws that protect human life. We expect the Administration will soon move to completely pull down the moratorium against federal funding for human embryo research that has been in place since the National Research Act of 1974."

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About Americans United for Life

Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization whose vision is a nation in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law. The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life through vigorous judicial, legislative, and educational efforts at both the federal and state levels since 1971. The Wall Street Journal has profiled AUL, and PBS' Frontline program chronicled AUL's successful efforts in Mississippi.

SOURCE Americans United For Life
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