President Donald Trump bans federally-funded research using fetal tissue from elective abortion, a move praised by pro-life advocates.
The Trump administration spent 9 months reviewing the issue and on June 5, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that government scientists are not allowed to use fetal tissue in their studies, reports Science Magazine. The new policy will not affect privately-funded or university-led studies.
This is a major pro-life victory and we thank President Trump for taking decisive action. —Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List
In a statement, the HHS said, “Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President Trump’s administration.”
Anti-abortion groups lauded the administration’s decision. “This is a major pro-life victory and we thank President Trump for taking decisive action,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. “It is outrageous and disgusting that we have been complicit, through our taxpayer dollars, in the experimentation using baby body parts.”
The March for Life supported the ban, saying, “This type of research involves the gross violation of basic human rights and certainly, the government has no business funding it.”
According to BBC, Republican Senator from Oklahoma, James Lankford, tweeted: “As a nation, we demand transparency and humanity when other human organs and tissue are donated for research or life-saving operations. It’s reasonable to have the same integrity and ethical process for the use of human fetal tissue.”
Opponents of the controversial policy argued that the ban will prevent experts from discovering cures for HIV, Zika, Cancer, Parkinson’s and other debilitating diseases.
However, criticisms over the Trump administration’s policy will not deter the government from developing solutions in the medical field.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that $20 million is funded “for research to develop, demonstrate, and validate experimental models that do not rely on human fetal tissue from elective abortions.”