As others have posted on this thread, the main reason for the scientists desiring freedom to experiment using embryonic stem cells (ESC) is that, since ESCs are totipotent (capable of becoming every kind of organ possible, and of developing into human beings), it is conceivable, under the law, that patents could be filed and enforced, if a person, individual or corporate, could determine an algorithm or design of a process leading to some desired medical or biological result, including an entire human being. That would translate into big-bucks.
The problem with totipotent cells (apart from murder) so far has been that they develop into undesirable "products", even cancers, due to their totipotent character.
The new discovery, and now independent verification, of the ability of pluripotent stem-cells (capable of becoming, in theory, every kind of tissue, but not capable of developing into human beings), may or may not be susceptible to patents, but in any case, no human beings are destroyed in the process, and the very undesirable results, such as cancer, have not been seen (to the best of my knowledge).
One of the reasons why policy-activists favoring ESC research keep floating referenda for public funding of same is that the free-market has deemed the financial returns to be had from ESC research vis-a-vis research using adult and pluripotent cells to be essentially ZERO. Thus there is no venture funding for it from the private sector! Hence, the drive to gull voters into funding it. Of course, the private "developers" always reap the gains, not the taxpayers. (Not that that is my principal concern about ESC research!)
And I did see coverage of this (a segment) on the PBS News Hour last night, with one ESC scientist declaring his surprise at how simple it turned out to be to condition pluripotent cells to be programmed by scientists. They only mentioned one such scientist, and none have declared that they will cease engaging in ESC research as a result (to the best of my knowledge), so there remains a big campaign of engaging the public on the issue.