White House Will Fight Stem Cell Funding Ruling

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The White House says it will fight a federal judge's order to temporarily halt government funding of research using embryonic stem cells.

The Justice Department will appeal the decision this week.

The injunction by U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth put an immediate halt to $54 million worth of taxpayer money going to 22 projects using embryonic stem cells.

Lamberth said current law forced him to halt the Obama administration's funding of such research. A federal law forbids taxpayer money going to research that results in the destruction of human embryos. Culling stem cells from embryos kills them.

The White House has argued the ruling is holding up crucial research, while pro-life groups say it's an important moral victory.

"This is important lifesaving, potentially lifesaving research, that could have an impact on millions of Americans and people all around the world," Deputy White House Press Secretary Bill Burton argued, defending the president's policy.

"We are thrilled with the decision because we believe that life begins at fertilization and so we see an embryo as being a human being," Cecelia Cody, with the California Right to Life Education Fund, responded.

One of President Obama's first executive orders was to use taxpayer money to help expand embryonic stem cell research.

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