Americans Support Stem Cell Research
Research!America commissions public opinion polls & tracks the pulse of the nation on many health research issues:
Research!America's Policy Position:
Research!America supports federal funding for stem cell research on both adult and embryonic cell lines and works to promote and protect stem cell research at the state and federal levels. We work closely with our partners, the Stem Cell Action Coalition and the Coalition for Advancing Medical Research, to advocate on behalf of stem cell research.
Current Federal Policy on Stem Cell Research:
Former President George W. Bush permitted federal funding for embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) only if the stem cells were obtained from a limited number of previously existing stem cell lines. In 2009, President Barack Obama issued an executive order expanding the opportunities for federally funded ESCR by permitting the use of embryonic stem cells other than those obtained from the previously designated stem cell lines. However, legislation to protect this expansion in research opportunities has never been signed into law, which gives future administrations the discretion to curtail or eliminate federally funded stem cell research.
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) is currently sponsoring H.R. 2376, also known as the Stem Cell Research Advancement Act, which would codify the stem cell rules established under President Obama’s executive order, preventing future administrations from unilaterally restricting or eliminating federal funding for stem cell research. The legislation would permit funding for research on stem cells derived from embryos produced, but ultimately not used, for in vitro fertilization. The bill currently has 28 cosponsors and no Senate equivalent.
On August 23, 2012, in a decision favorable to proponents of embryonic stem cell research, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a lower court ruling dismissing a lawsuit that challenged the Obama administration’s expansion of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
The Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal in an announcement on January 7, 2013. The announcement allows the decision of the appeals court to stand.