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Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging stem cell rule

The Associated Press

A judge on Tuesday dismissed a Christian adoption agency's challenge to Obama administration regulations expanding stem cell research.

The case arose from a decision by President Barack Obama to lift restraints on stem-cell research that were put in place by President George W. Bush.

Nightlight Christian Adoptions contended in a lawsuit that the government's new guidelines will decrease the number of human embryos available for adoption. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth called that assertion speculative. Donors, the judge said, still may choose to continue to store the embryos or give them to an adoption agency rather than donate them for research.

For Nightlight to have grounds to sue, Lamberth ruled, potential embryo donors have to choose to donate their embryos for research and not for adoption.

Nightlight helps individuals adopt human embryos that are being stored in fertilization clinics. Nightlight began the program in 1997, using some of more than 400,000 frozen embryos with infertile couples.

"We're considering filing an appeal," said Ron Stoddart, executive director of Nightlight Christian Adoptions of Anaheim Hills, Calif. "It's unfortunate that the court did not address the merits of the action and instead took the easy way out and said in essence that we were not affected by the new guidelines and therefore weren't entitled to sue."


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