THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S August 9, 2001, announcement that limited federal funding would be made available in the area of human embryonic stem cell research stands as one of the significant developments in stem cell research and public policy, as well as one of the most recent.

Previously, in the wake of the 1969 breakthrough in in vitro fertilization and the 1973 Roe v. Wade legal decision, federal regulations had denied federal funding to research involving experimentation on human embryos. In 1988, the Reagan administration further denied funds to research using aborted fetal tissue, which had been studied as a transplantable material for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries, and diabetes. A 1993 executive order at the start of the Clinton administration lifted that ban, ...

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