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White House reviewing ruling against embryonic stem cell research

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Judge stops stem cell federal funding
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Options are being considered after the injunction against embryonic stem cell research
  • The White House believes such research is vital, spokesman Bill Burton says
  • Obama signed an executive order lifting restrictions on federal aid for such research

(CNN) -- Administration officials are still reviewing a federal judge's decision to grant a preliminary injunction stopping federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said Tuesday.

They are "exploring all possibilities" to allow such research to continue, Burton told reporters at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where President Barack Obama is on vacation.

Monday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth could even cut off stem cell research that was allowed under former President George W. Bush, Burton said. Obama believes embryonic stem cell research conducted under "stringent ethical guidelines" is critical, the spokesman added.

Obama signed an executive order in March 2009 that repealed a Bush-era policy limiting federal dollars for human stem cell research. Obama's act permitted the National Institutes of Health to conduct and fund studies on embryonic stem cells.

Lamberth's ruling, however, said aid for research that involves the destruction of embryos violates a key amendment currently governing federal spending bills.

 
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