A bill to allow certain types of research on embryonic stem cells in New Mexico gained narrow approval from the Senate on Thursday after a debate over medical ethics.
Senate Bill 1232, which passed on a 19-17 vote, next goes to the House.
The proposal would allow research using embryonic stem cells that are at fertilization clinics and otherwise would be disposed or are deemed to be excess tissue. “These embryos will never be people; these embryos will be thawed,” said Sen. John Ryan, RAlbuquerque.
Stem cells are unspecialized cells that can develop into specialized cells. Supporters of embryonic stem-cell research say the cells offer more promise for medical research than adult stem cells, which come from adult organs.
Ryan said research on embryonic stem cells could lead to cures for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and other illnesses.
The governor is requesting $3.8 million in capital outlay funds and $2.2 million in operating funds for the next budget year.