USA Today takes a high level look at the stem cell research debate in the US. It has become an extension of the abortion debate in many ways, with two intractable sides attempting to force or prevent legislation. As one researcher says: "If politics were not involved, the field of embryonic stem cell research would be much more advanced than it is today. It is difficult to estimate just how damaging the current restrictions have been to the field to date, but if the current restrictions are not eventually lifted, patients will suffer needlessly." Legislative obstruction of medical research costs lives.