Group Files Lawsuit Against Stem Cell Agency
A group that opposes abortion rights on Monday amended a lawsuit it filed last week against the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, alleging that the use of human embryos for stem cell research violates the embryos' constitutional rights, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The lawsuit, filed by the Maryland-based National Association for the Advancement of Preborn Children, claims that stem cell research violates embryos' rights to due process, equal protection and freedom from slavery. Martin Palmer, the attorney who filed the lawsuit, said Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court case that struck down state abortion bans, does not apply in this case because the embryos are being kept alive outside of a woman's womb.
No U.S. court has ever ruled that embryos are persons with constitutional rights, the Bee reports.
Nicole Pagano, a spokesperson for CIRM, on Monday said the agency had not seen the new lawsuit and could not comment on it.
The Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee's timetable for issuing the first CIRM grants already has been delayed by other lawsuits, and the new case "could cause even further delays," the Bee reports.
The state plans to file a bond validation action, a process that would expedite legal proceedings to sell the bonds in an effort to fund the grants more quickly. The validation hearing "could take several months," the Bee reports. ICOC Chair Robert Klein has said the state will not file for a bond validation action for at least another month (Mecoy, Sacramento Bee, 6/14).
Bakersfield Californian: The Legislature "must kill" a constitutional amendment (SCA 13) proposed by Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) because it "would imperil the state's already delayed" stem cell institute, a Californian editorial states. The amendment might "spook bond rating agencies," the editorial states, adding that Ortiz's "insistence that new technology or medicines be available" at a cost affordable to the state's poor residents is a "real potential deal killer" (Bakersfield Californian, 6/14).
Sacramento Bee: "Ortiz has worked to amend her measure so it would have no possible impact on the issuance of stem cell bonds," a Bee editorial states. The editorial adds that Ortiz should "hold off on dictating how future stem cell therapies should be licensed" because "biomedical companies and venture capitalists would have less ammunition" at a later date (Sacramento Bee, 6/8).
- San Francisco Chronicle: The Senate "should approve" Ortiz's bill, which "will enhance public confidence" in CIRM, a Chronicle editorial states. "Advocates of state-supported stem research should be doing everything possible to make sure this enormous outlay of public money is handled with the utmost integrity," according to the editorial (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/13).