Advocates behind the pro-life initiative titled 'One of Us' expressed their disappointment at the European Commission's veto of the legislative proposal, which would have outlawed EU funding for embryonic stem cell research.
Its supporters called it an "unjustified veto” that goes against the democratic principles of the European Citizen's Initiative. It allows citizens of EU member countries to draft proposed laws and, if they collect over one million signatures, submit them to the European Commission for consideration.
One of Us, which had vocal support from Pope Francis and the Catholic Church, gathered a total of two million signatures, from voters in all of the European Union countries.
However, the Commission vetoed the initiative saying that research involving embryonic stem cells is well-regulated, and used as a last resort. It added that this research can offer life-saving treatments.
The EU disclosed that from 2007-2013 it funded 27 research projects involving embryonic stem cells, worth 156.7 million euros.
The committee behind the One of Us initiative said they will appeal the Commission's decision to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.