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WASHINGTON, June 21, 2001 (LSN.ca) – The American Heart Association (AHA) has decided not to fund embryonic stem cell research and concentrate on funding of the more promising and ethical adult stem cells. The Los Angeles Times reports that the policy is a reversal of the AHA’s support for embryonic stem cell research and that the reason for the AHA’s current decision was the pro-life activism of AHA donors and Archbishop Justin Rigali of St. Louis, Missouri.

While its leadership was supportive of the embryo research, a flood of protest letters caused the AHA to do an assessment on the cost of funding the human embryo research. The Times reports that the group estimated that “Funding stem cell research would cut donations by $9 million to $15 million in the first year and by $45 million to $50 million the next.” Moreover the AHA was concerned that it may lose many volunteers and its remaining volunteers would no longer be able to speak at certain churches and hospitals, delivering the message of how to prevent heart disease and stroke. “We just couldn’t let one area of research have an adverse impact on the overall mission of the heart association,” said Dr. Rose Marie Robertson, a Nashville cardiologist and president of the association.

For more see the LA Times coverage at:  https://www.latimes.com/news/nation/updates2/lat_stem010621.htm

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