A measure to allow human embryonic stem cell research in New Mexico has passed the Senate.
The proposal would permit couples with leftover embryos at in-vitro fertilization clinics to donate them for research rather than have a clinic discard them.
Supporters, including several Republican lawmakers, say the research may help in finding cures for deadly diseases and repairing damaged tissues, including spinal cord injuries. Opponents object to using human embryos for research.
The legislation was approved by the Senate on a 23 - 16 vote on Tuesday and goes to the House for consideration.
Similar stem cell research proposals passed the Senate but failed in the House several times when Democrat Bill Richardson was governor.