Stem Cell, Embryo & Fetal Research

“On the basis of a complete biological analysis, the living human embryo is – from the moment of the union of the gametes – a human subject with a well defined identity, which from that point begins its own  coordinated, continuous and gradual development, such that at no later stage can it be considered as a simple mass of cells.” Pontifical Academy for Life, August 25, 2000.

“What is at stake is so important that, from the standpoint of moral obligation, the mere probability that a human person is involved would suffice to justify an absolutely clear prohibition of any intervention aimed at killing a human embryo.” Evangelium Vitae n. 50.

Important Church Documents:


Catholic Websites:

Other Website:


Important Dates:

August 23, 2000, National Institutes of Health issues guidelines, supported by President Bill Clinton, that allow federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

August 9, 2001, President Bush limits federal funding of stem cell research to research on lines already created (embryos already destroyed).

February 12, 2004, South Korean scientists report first cloned human embryo, created as a source for stem cells, in Science.

2004-2006, A series of states, including NJ, CT, CA, MO and IL pass legislation or voter initiatives allowing and funding for stem cell research, including embryonic stem cell research.

April 6, 2006, Governor Robert Ehrlich signs Maryland Stem Cell Research Act, which allocates $15 million for embryonic stem cell research grants.

March 9, 2009, President Barack Obama signs executive order allowing federal funding of research that will require the killing of human embryos.

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