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Lifted Stem Cell Research Ban: Implications for Fertility Patients

REUTERS,  Mar 11, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama lifted restrictions on human stem cell research on Monday, a decision that is opposed by some on ethical and religious grounds because the powerful cells come from days-old human embryos.

While medical researchers hailed Obama's move as a step toward treating or curing a variety of diseases, fertility patients said they were simply glad that they will no longer be limited in their choice of what to do with unused embryos.

Some 300,000 frozen embryos were stored in the United States in 2003, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. That number has risen as high as 500,000 since then, according to some estimates.

Still, even with the lifting of restrictions on stem cell research, fertility patients may find it hard to donate their unused embryos to science, said Barbara Collura, executive director of RESOLVE, a national infertility support group.

"There is a big problem within the industry -- patients don't always know the logistics of the next step, whatever their option is. They don't know their rights," Collura said.

You can read more about embryo donation and the lifting of the ban on stem cell research in this article:


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