Sept 23, 2002
California Governor Gray Davis on Sunday signed a bill backing controversial
human embryonic stem cell research.
"We are going to be the only state in the nation to say it is appropriate for the state to embark on stem cell research and not limit it to adult stem cells," the bill's author, state Senator Deborah Ortiz told a news conference on Sunday.
Last year President George W. Bush placed restrictions on federal funding for the research, which is opposed by a variety of groups.
"As the country ages, I believe more and more Americans will see the value stem cell research has in enhancing quality of the lives of the people they love," Davis said after signing the bill, which becomes law on January 1, 2003.
Davis was joined at a news conference by actor Christopher Reeve, best known for his portrayal of "Superman" in a series of movies, and Hollywood producer Jerry Zucker.
Reeve, paralyzed 7 years ago when he was thrown from a horse, has become a stem cell research activist along with Zucker, whose teenage daughter has type I diabetes.
The bill allows stem cells from any source to be used while making research
subject to a review and permitting process.
© 2002 Reuters Ltd