Less than a year after President Bush limited the federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) granted $150,000 to study the stem cells of aborted fetuses up to eight weeks old.

"This was a surprise and a disappointing one," said Ken Connor, president of the Family Research Council (FRC). "Our concern all along has been that life begins at conception and should be protected from conception on. The curious irony here is that older, more mature fetuses have less protection than is accorded to days-old embryos."

Bush's August 9, 2001 embryonic stem-cell decision limited federal funds to research on cell lines already cultivated. This stance on embryonic research is considerably stricter than the still active Clinton-era guidelines for fetal research, which state that the decision to abort has to be made before discussion of donating the fetus to science, no money can be exchanged, and those aborting the child cannot determine the use of the fetus's cells.

"We shouldn't have a set of guidelines that treat embryos and fetuses differently, especially when they give more protections to embryos than fetuses," said John F. Kilner, director of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity.

Explaining the discrepancy between the two policies, a White House spokesman told the Chicago Tribune that Bush left the Clinton-era fetal guidelines in place because of a 1993 law prohibiting presidents from banning fetal tissue research.

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, told Christianity Today that the Bush administration's hands are tied on fetal research. However, he said the administration is rightly focusing its attention on other life ethics battles. "We could ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Current IssueHow to Find Hope in the Humanless Economy
How to Find Hope in the Humanless Economy Subscriber Access Only
Robots could take half of our jobs in the next decade. Here’s why Christians have nothing to fear.
RecommendedBernie Sanders Attacks Wheaton Grad’s Stance on Salvation
In Christ Alone: Bernie Sanders Attacks Wheaton Grad’s Stance on Salvation
Trump appointee hearing turns into a religious test for office.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickThe Refugee Ban Is Back, But Church Connections Might Trump It
The Refugee Ban Is Back, But Church Connections Might Trump It
World Relief wants clarification over today’s big Supreme Court decision.
Christianity Today
Federal Funds Approved to Study Fetal Stem Cells
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

July 2002

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.