European Court of Justice Decision Does Not Protect All Unborn Life

The European Court outlawed the destruction of embryos for research purposes, but unborn life is still in danger in Europe.

DATE: October 24, 2011
CONTACT: Stephen Phelan 540-622-5270 –

FRONT ROYAL, Virginia — Father Shenan J. Boquet, President of Human Life International, released the following statement today on the recent decision by the European Court of Justice to restrict the patenting of embryonic stem cell technologies in certain cases:

“While the European Court of Justice’s decision is welcome news, we have to be careful not to overstate its significance. What the court decided is that patents could not be issued for stem cells when those cells are derived from human embryos and the embryo is destroyed in the process. As we understand it, this ruling amounts to a preliminary judgment in the area of intellectual property, and still leaves open certain possibilities that need to be addressed in this area.

“The ruling does not in any way make illegal the destruction of unborn human life, it simply makes it less financially attractive for companies who do research utilizing embryonic stem cells to do so, as they cannot protect their developments in these cases. To this limited extent, it is a welcome development, and if it moves resources toward the sort of stem cell research that does not involve the destruction of human beings and is actually seeing great progress in curing disease and relieving suffering, that is a very good thing.

“The fight to defend unborn human beings from being destroyed or exploited in the nations of the European Union is far from over, but we hope that this decision is indicative of a trend toward greater respect for human life in all its stages.” 

About HLI: Human Life International: Pro-Life Missionaries to the World. Founded in 1981, HLI is the world’s largest international pro-life organization and has affiliates and associates in over 100 countries on six continents.


About Fr. Shenan J. Boquet

Fr. Shenan J. Boquet has served as president of Human Life International since 2011. He was ordained in 1993 as a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana. As HLI’s president, Fr. Boquet collaborates with fellow laborers in the pro-life and family movement in over 80 countries, offering the Sacraments, giving seminars and trainings, appearing on numerous media outlets, and encouraging people of all walks of life to live as faithful advocates for a Culture of Life and Love. He is available for interviews and bookings on behalf of HLI by emailing

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