|WASHINGTON (BP) -- The Obama administration's effort to defund the federal government's only program promoting embryo adoption further demonstrates its abortion mindset, say pro-life advocates.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is not seeking funding for the Embryo Adoption Awareness Campaign in the 2013 fiscal year, The Washington Times reported March 4. The program is designed to inform Americans that frozen embryos created by in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be available for adoption by those who are infertile.
Embryo adoption allows couples -- most of them infertile -- to adopt embryos left over from IVF treatments. The biological parents must offer consent for their embryos to be used. Without adoption, the estimated 625,000 embryos in frozen storage in this country can face death by being discarded or by being donated for lethal research.
The HHS decision fits with this administration's policies on such issues, pro-lifers said in protest.
"It's indicative of the Obama administration's anti-unborn-citizen attitude that it would remove funding from the embryo adoption program," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). "It's one more example that they are at war with our unborn citizens."
C. Ben Mitchell, professor of moral philosophy at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., described the Obama administration as "ideologically driven. This decision is additional evidence that it may be the most anti-natal administration in history."
In a document submitted to congressional appropriations committees, HHS said it seeks to halt funding of the campaign because "of the limited interest in the program as evidenced by grants being awarded to a very small pool of applicants, many of whom are repeat recipients." The fate of the program rests with Congress, which can restore its funding in the budget.
Embryo adoption awareness still is worth funding, an advocate told The Times.
Ron Stoddart, executive director of Nightlight Christian Adoptions, pointed to the continued increases in embryos placed in storage, in babies born from embryo adoption and in embryo adoption programs.
"So those three factors would clearly indicate to me, and I think, any objective observer, that there's an increasing interest in embryo donation and adoption," Stoddart said.
From 2004 to 2009, about 1,900 children were born in the United States from embryo adoption, the Embryo Donation Services Center reported, according to The Times.
Nightlight, which pioneered embryo adoption about 15 years ago, is expected to have its 300th baby born through its "snowflakes" program March 30, the newspaper reported.
The National Embryo Donation Center, which is located in Knoxville, Tenn., told The Times it has 150 "sets" of stored, frozen embryos awaiting adoption. Each set contains as many as 15 embryos. Continued...