Accessibility links

Breaking News

US Official Says Obama to Sign Stem Cell Order Monday

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to sign an executive order Monday reversing restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

An administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, says President Obama will hold an event at the White House to announce the move.

Supporters say stem cell research can be used to make medical advances in treating diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's or to treat spinal cord injuries. Critics say the use of human embryos for research is an immoral act which cannot be justified, even if it achieves a good end.

The science is controversial because human embryos are destroyed to obtain the cells. Embryonic stem cells can develop into any cell of the body.

In August 2001, then-President George W. Bush banned federal funding for research using new lines of human embryonic stem cells beyond the lines already in use.

He also vetoed congressional attempts to override the decision.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.