Current Law Prohibits Federal Funding of Embryo-Destructive Research
As discussed in the adjacent article by Richard Doerflinger, the Clinton-Gore Administration promulgated guidelines for federal funding of research in which human embryos will be killed in order to obtain their "stem cells." Operating under these guidelines, the federal National Institutes of Health (NIH) is accepting grant requests for such research, with a March 15 deadline.
However, the Bush Administration has begun a review of
the issue. As Mr. Doerflinger discusses in his article, it is hoped that the
review will conclude that the type of funding proposed by the Clinton
Administration guidelines is clearly in violation of federal law.
Since 1996, a provision of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) appropriations bill has flatly prohibited federal funding of any "research in which" human embryos are harmed or placed at risk. This law is known as the "Dickey Amendment," after its author, former Congressman Jay Dickey (R- Ar.).
The Dickey Amendment was renewed for Fiscal Year 2001 on December 21, 2000, when President Clinton signed a consolidated appropriations bill that contained the DHHS appropriations bill for FY 2001 (HR 4577/HR 5656), which is now Public Law 106-554. The pertinent language is Section 510, which is reproduced below.
The Dickey Amendment
SEC. 510. (a) None of the funds made available in this Act may be used for--
(1) the creation of a human embryo or embryos for research purposes; or
(2) research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero under 45 CFR 46.208(a)(2) and section 498(b) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 289g(b)).
(b) For purposes of this section, the term `human embryo or embryos' includes any organism, not protected as a human subject under 45 CFR 46 as of the date of the enactment of this Act, that is derived by fertilization, parthenogenesis, cloning, or any other means from one or more human gametes or human diploid cells.