Obama wants Congress to act on lifting stem cells ban
Fri Jan 16, 6:11 pm ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) – President-elect Barack Obama said Friday he wanted legislation in Congress to permit federal funding on stem cell research and overturn a ban imposed by President George W. Bush.
Obama, who favors medical research on stem cells derived from human embryos, told CNN he was still exploring an executive order to revoke Bush's ban.
"But I like the idea of the American people's representatives expressing their views on an issue like this," he said, lauding a "bipartisan" consensus in Congress that such research is ethical and potentially life-saving.
If the research could yield hope for victims of degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, "I think that sends a powerful message," he said.
In blocking federal funding for stem cell research, Bush sided with religious conservatives who argue that research on embryos destroys human life, albeit at its earliest stage of development.
Stem cells are primitive cells from early-stage embryos capable of developing into almost every tissue of the body.
Scientists believe they could prove key in finding a cure for a number of serious diseases, including also diabetes and cancer.