Stem Cell Research Alert


Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls, SD

May 9, 2009


Stem Cell Research Alert

On March 9, President Obama issued an Executive Order overturning President Bush’s stem cell research funding policies. On April 23, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published draft guidelines implementing the Obama directive. The public has until May 26 to submit comments.

In response to the NIH draft guidelines, Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Michael Castle (R-DE) said they intend to move forward with legislation that goes beyond the guidelines.

We urge you to (1) send messages to Congress opposing any legislation promoting destructive embryonic stem cell research and (2) send comments to NIH on the draft guidelines.

You can contact our US Senators and Representatives through their webmail sites found on the Contact Public Officials Page of the CAN Website, or you can use the NCHLA Grassroots Action Center at:

On the NCHLA site, you are first directed to send e-mails to your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators, then directed to go to the NIH web form, where your name and a prepared pro-life message will automatically be inserted for you. Before submitting personal comments, you must complete a simple “Security Check” (fill in a random set of four provided numbers). Personal comments can be added to both messages.

For more detailed information on the NCHLA Action Alert, please visit: In addition, the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities has prepared a special stem cell page on their web site. See “Oppose Destructive Stem Cell Research,” at: Links to the NCHLA information are also available on the USCCB web site. Following is the USCCB Press Release:


WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) launched a new “Oppose Destructive Stem Cell Research” campaign today, equipping citizens to contact Congress and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to oppose embryonic stem cell research and support ethical cures and treatments “we can all live with.” The campaign is facilitated by the USCCB’s partner organization, the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment.

Following President Obama’s March 9 executive order, the NIH proposed guidelines for federally funded research that will require destroying live human embryos for their stem cells. The draft guidelines are open for public comment through May 26.

The campaign homepage,, summarizes why the proposed guidelines are unacceptable, provides links to USCCB resources (including the bishops’ statement “On Embryonic Stem Cell Research” and multi-media resources and ads), and encourages web users to “Contact Congress & NIH Now” through an e-mail interface. Several resources are available in both English and Spanish.

The campaign site explains that the NIH guidelines “would—for the first time—use taxpayer funds to encourage the killing of embryonic human beings for their stem cells.” It continues, “Embryonic stem cell research treats innocent human beings as mere sources of body parts, as commodities for our use.”

The webpage features a video of Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, critiquing the draft guidelines.

“The Catholic bishops of the United States will be writing to Congress and the Administration about the need to restore and maintain barriers against the mistreatment of human life in the name of science, and we urge other concerned citizens to do the same,” Cardinal Rigali said.

Catholics and other citizens are urged to contact both NIH and Congress because members of Congress and the Administration have expressed interest in pursuing an even broader policy. “They want to obtain stem cells by destroying human embryos specially generated for research through in vitro fertilization (IVF) or cloning procedures – a ‘create to kill’ policy,” the campaign page explains.

Those who want to call for stem cell research and cures “we can all live with” may speak out by visiting and clicking on “Contact Congress & NIH Now.”

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

In Christ’s Love for Life,
Kelly J. Benson, Esq.
Co-Director, Respect Life Office; Lobbyist

Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls

Catholic Advocate Network


“To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, without a steady struggle for truth, that is not living, but existing.”
—Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

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