Stem Cell Research Halted By Judge: Does the Law Need to be Changed?

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Aug. 24, 2010— -- A federal judge put a halt to federal spending on embryonic stem cell research yesterday, ruling that an executive order from President Obama violates the law.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth agreed with an argument that Obama's executive order funds research that must destroy an embryo to obtain stem cells. The Dickey-Wicker Amendment, put in place by Congress in 1996, says that federal funding cannot be used to destroy embryos.

The Justice Department said last night that it is "reviewing the judge's ruling." The order will stay in place pending a possible appeal.

President George W. Bush banned federal funding of embryonic stem cell research in 2001, while allowing research to continue on some pre-existing stem cell lines. That decision was overturned by President Obama's executive order shortly after he took office.

If the judge's decision stands, Congress would have to change the law for embryonic stem cell research to continue with federal funding.

Our question to you today: Should Congress change the stem cell law?

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