Annals of Health Law
ACHIEVING AN AIDS-FREE GENERATION
funding for any hESC research.152 Beginning with President Clinton’s
administration in 1993, and continuing through subsequent administrations,
the status of federal funding reflects each Presidency’s moral and ethical
views on hESC research.153 Under President Clinton, Congress repealed the
funding moratorium. Clinton’s administration initiated an investigation, led
by the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”), to promulgate recommendations
on future funding.154 Before further funding was authorized, however, a
newly elected Republican Congress enacted the Balanced Budget
Downpayment Act, which prohibited funding for research that created or
destroyed human embryos.155
President Clinton’s Secretary of the Department of Health and Human
Services, Donna Shalala, attempted to work around this ban by determining
that it applied to the destruction of embryos, permitting federal monies to be
used for research on privately created cell lines.156 However, even after
Secretary Shalala’s announcement, few researchers applied for funds because
of the likelihood of a policy reversal.157 These fears were realized in 2001
when President Bush limited federal funding to the seventy-eight cell lines
existing at the time of his announcement.158
152. Additional Protections for Pregnant Women, Human Fetuses and Neonates Involved
in Research, 45 C.F.R. § 46.204(d) (1982), repealed by National Institutes of Health
Revitalization Act of 1993, Pub. L. No. 103-43, § 121(c), 107 Stat. 122. The Ethics Advisory
Board (EAB) was required to annually approve funding for research involving human
embryos. Interestingly, the ban occurred because the EAB’s charter expired in 1979 without
renewal, but the federal requirement of EAB funding approval remained. Snead, supra note
150, at 1545.
153. Snead, supra note 150, at 1545. Federal funds for scientific research are awarded or
withheld by the President, primarily through allotment to the National Institutes of Health. Id.
154. National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993, Pub. L. No. 103-43, 107
Stat. 122. Section 113(b) ensured federal funding by requiring that, “in the case of any proposal
for research on the transplantation of human fetal tissue for therapeutic purposes, the Secretary
of Health and Human Services may not withhold funds for the research . . . .” Id. § 113(b).
This legislation further removed the EAB approval requirement for these funds. Id. § 121(c).
155. Balanced Budget Downpayment Act, I, Pub. L. No. 104-99, § 128, 110 Stat. 26, 34
(1996). The provision explicitly prohibited funding for “the creation of a human embryo or
embryos for research purposes; or  research in which a human embryo or embryos are
destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that
allowed for research on fetuses in utero.” Id. Congress “put teeth to the ban in the form of a
funding rider” renewed annually in the Appropriations Act. SCOTT, supra note 150, at 153–
156. SCOTT, supra note 150, at 154.
157. Id. at 154–55. At the time NIH began soliciting proposal applications in 2000,
presidential candidate Governor George W. Bush promised to reverse the policy if elected. Id.
158. Id. at 155. President Bush made a televised announcement on August 9, 2001, that
only research on existing cell lines could use federal funds. Id. In 2009, federal support shifted
back in favor of stem-cell research when President Obama lifted the ban on funding. See