A judge blocked Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research approved by the current administration. The judge said that it violates Federal law, which prohibits funding destruction of human embryos, which is the direct and logical result of funding ESCR. Current stem cell lines aren't sufficient for researching and developing therapies from embryos. Some estimates are that tens of millions of embryos would be needed to do the research envisioned. Already, there's a growing industry to pay young women to harvest their eggs for fertilization and destruction of the resulting embryos.
ESCR is confusing for a lot of people. In this article (the Sept./Oct. 2001 Solid Ground), Greg breaks down the moral logic of ESCR. And the moral question must be answered before the scientific one can be considered. There really is one significant question: What is the embryo? It's a nascent human life in the first stages of development that will continue its maturity to birth and beyond. There is no difference between an embryo and any other human life other than stage of development. If this life has value, then it cannot be treated as a mere instrument no matter what medical benefits may result from its destruction for research. We don't treat human beings as means to ends, which is exactly what ESCR is.