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Feminists Choosing Life of New York, Inc. v. Empire State Stem Cell Board

926 N.Y.S.2d 671 (2011)

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Feminists Choosing Life of New York, Inc. v. Empire State Stem Cell Board

New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division

926 N.Y.S.2d 671 (2011)

Facts

Through the Stem Cell Act, the New York legislature created the Empire State Stem Cell Board (the board) (defendant) which awarded grants to stem-cell-biology researchers. The board’s funding committee adopted a resolution to allow grants to women who donated their oocytes or eggs for research projects. Feminists Choosing Life of New York, Inc. (FCL) (plaintiff), a human-rights coalition, brought suit in the trial court to annul the board’s resolution. FCL argued that the board was not authorized by the act to compensate women for donating their eggs that might be used to create stem cells through somatic cell nuclear transfer. FCL claimed that paying the egg donors would violate a state law that prohibited grants of funds directly or indirectly utilized for research projects that involved human reproductive cloning. FCL interpreted the statutory phrase human reproductive cloning to include research projects that used somatic cell nuclear transfer to produce stem cells for research or therapeutic purposes. The board interpreted the statutory phrase human reproductive cloning not to include research projects that used somatic cell nuclear transfer to produce stem cells for research or therapeutic purposes. The board sought to dismiss FCL’s petition to annul the resolution allowing grants to women who donated their eggs for research projects. The trial court heard oral arguments and decided that the board’s interpretation of the phrase human reproductive cloning was reasonable and rational. The trial court dismissed FCL’s petition. FCL appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Garry, J.)

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