Some political and religious leaders have suggested that harvesting an embryo's stem cells is the same as destroying a human life. This has lead to measures such as the Dickey-Wicker amendment, put forward in 1996 by U.S. Representatives Jay Dickey and Roger Wicker, which effectively banned the harvesting of new stem cells for research within the United States.
It is true that in order to harvest stem cells, you must destroy a fertilized human embryo. However, embryonic stem cell research almost certainly holds the key to treating and curing many terrible diseases. Because there are such strong, life-based arguments from each side, stem cell research remains controversial.
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