Stem cell research is a controversial issue that sharply divides people. There are two kinds of stem cell research: embryonic and adult. This distinction is imperative because of the ethical issues involved.
Embryonic stem cell research requires cells to be extracted from a human embryo. In the process of extracting the stem cells the embryo is destroyed and a life is ended. The embryonic stem cells are then isolated and theoretically coaxed into developing into just about any cell in the body. Embryonic stem cell transplants have not been shown concretely to have successfully helped a single patient.
Fetal tissue research requires the abortion of a living unborn child. The Center for Medical Progress, in a series of investigative videos (link to site), revealed that Planned Parenthood’s affiliated clinics participate in the harvesting and sale of aborted baby body parts and placental tissue for financial gain. These are then used in research facilities around the country, including at Oregon Health and Science University. Fetal tissue research has also not successfully helped treat a single patient.
Adult stem cell research on the other hand, does not require the destruction of life. Adult stem cells are derived from sources like umbilical cords and organ tissue.