While their rank-and-file congregants broadly support stem cell research, many religious leaders, especially groups associated with the anti-abortion movement, have come out staunchly against it. A sampling of views from both sides of the growing debate:


Focus on the Family
Focus on the Family opposes stem cell research using human embryos. In order for scientists to isolate and culture embryonic stem cells, a living, human embryo must be killed. It is never morally or ethically justified to kill one human being in order to help benefit another. By requiring the destruction of embryos, the tiniest human beings, embryonic stem cell research violates the medical ethic of "Do No Harm."
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Catholic Bishops
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops strongly opposes the destructon of embryos for medical research. Having called the August 2000 guidelines for destructive human embryo research immoral and illegal, the bishops excoriated President Bush's "accommodation" of destructive research already performed on existing embryonic stem-cell lines as "morally unacceptable," and urged him to "return to a principled stand."

The bishops position is based on the Church's commitment to preserving human life, which they believe occurs at the moment of conception.
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Christian Coalition
Embryonic stem cell research is a violation of human rights. If the United States Government were to place its stamp of approval on the destruction of living human embryos in order to obtain stem cells, it would be the first time that our government has declared that a non-consenting human being may be exploited and killed for experimental research purposes. The killing of human beings is never justified for research ends.

Concerned Women for America
Embryonic stem-cells are obtained by killing embryos, and are too unstable to even begin human trials. We do not have to choose between curing lives or preserving lives of embryos; we can do both.
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Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention is on record for its enduring, consistent, and vigorous opposition to 1)elective abortion, 2)the use of fetal tissues harvested from elective abortions for research, and 3)experimentation using human embryonic stem cells obtained from electively-aborted embryos.
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Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
In vitro fertilization is looked upon with great doubt because present methods cause the destruction of numerous human fertilized ova and even developing fetuses; this is still a form of abortion. Genetic counseling and screening cannot be objected to in principle and in fact should be encouraged.


Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform Jews)
There is an emerging consensus of Reform Jewish authorities that tissue obtained from either therapeutic or spontaneous abortions may be used for purposes of life-saving or life-enhancing research and treatment. Jewish requirements that we use our God-given knowledge to heal people, together with the concept of pikuach nefesh (the primary responsibility to save human life, which overrides almost all other laws), has been used by Jewish legal authorities to justify a broad range of organ transplants and medical experimentation. These requirements likewise justify the use of fetal tissue transplants.
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Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
We believe in the morality of the use of tissue derived from fetuses when the procurement of that tissue is carefully regulated. Regulation of donations needs to assure that the decision to have an abortion is separated from the decision to donate fetal tissue. We also believe that fetal tissue donation is moral when the decision to use the tissue is made separately from the decision to abort. Women who have made informed decisions to donate fetal tissue for research deserve the respect and gratitude of society.
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Episcopal Church
A task force reporting to the Episcopal Church's 2003 General Convention concluded that "it is in keeping with our call to heal the afflicted" to make use of embryos already held in fertility clinics, but took a "conservative and balanced approach," its chairman said, in stressing that the task force "does not recommend that embryos be created for this research."
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