Notes: President George W. Bush faces a decision on whether to allow federal funds to be used for research on stem cells obtained from human embryos. Scientists and patients' groups claim that research on the cells could lead to progress in cures of diseases such as Parkinson's, diabetes and cancer, thus saving tens of thousands of lives.

Those opposed claim that such research destroys a human life by destroying the embryo. This is the official position of the Catholic Church though one polls shows most American Catholics favor the research. Still, senior Bush adviser Karl Rove has argued against allowing any federal financing of such research because he fears that it will cost Bush votes among Catholics. Bush meets with the Pope in Rome on July 23.

Anti-abortion groups have also spoken out against federal funding of the research and want all stem cell research to be done on cells taken from adults (supposedly not of the same resarch quality). And Congressional Republican leaders Tom DeLay, Dick Armey, and J.C. Watts are trying to rally House Republicans to stand against it.

But, on the other side -- along with respected scientists and patients' groups -- conservative Republican Congressmen Orrin Hatch has urged the president to allow federal funding of the research. Hatch has said that an embryo grown in a petri dish is not a human life. Meanwhile, Bush advisers are trying to craft a compromise. Compromise plans by the advisers include allowing the growing of cells only until there is a sufficient number for future research and another is to federally fund the reseachers on other projects so that they could use private funding for stem cell research. 07.01.01