Cord blood stem cells are taken from the placenta and umbilical cord after detachment at birth. These materials have a high concentration in hematopoietic stem cells. These stem cells are then useful for transplantation later.
There are public and private cord blood banks to store the core blood. National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) facilitates matching cord blood for particular patients. Private cord blood banks also exist for use by the donor and his relatives.
While public cord blood banking is universally encouraged, supporters of abortion instead favor funding for research of embryonic stem cells. France and Italy actually prohibit private cord blood banking, and the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies also opposes it.