Trump Administration Imposes New Restrictions on Fetal Tissue Research
The Trump administration announced Wednesday that it will sharply reduce the amount of federal money supporting medical research that relies on tissue from aborted fetuses, handing a significant victory to anti-abortion groups who had lobbied for such a decision for years.
In a statement posted to its website Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it is immediately ending a $2 million-a-year program with the University of California, San Francisco, for research using fetal tissue from elective abortions.
The department went on to say that based on a review that began last fall, it is also ending about 200 research projects conducted by federal scientists at the National Institutes of Health that involve fetal tissue from elective abortions.
In announcing the changes, HHS explained that “promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President Trump’s administration.”
In addition to unveiling the new restrictions, the department said it is continuing to conduct a comprehensive review of all research involving fetal tissue “to ensure consistency with statutes and regulations governing such research, and to ensure the adequacy of procedures and oversight of this research in light of the serious regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved.”
It also said it will carry out ethics reviews on government-funded research at universities and other scientific centers that propose to use fetal tissue.
Federal funding of such research became a hot-button issue four years ago after a group opposed to a woman’s right to make her own health decisions, released videos purportedly showing Planned Parenthood profiting from sale of the tissues.
Planned Parenthood sued, contending the videos were edited to be intentionally misleading, and a Texas grand jury subsequently cleared the agency of any wrongdoing.
On Wednesday, the group behind the videos, the Center for Medical Progress, released a statement saying “President Trump is showing transformative leadership by directing his pro-life administration to end the unconscionable taxpayer funding of fetal experimentation.
“Americans across the country are experiencing a revolution of consciousness about the human atrocity of industrial-scale, taxpayer-funded abortion and infanticide. Now is the time for the U.S. Department of Justice and regulatory authorities to hold entities like Planned Parenthood who traffic in aborted baby body parts accountable under the law,” the group said.
Meanwhile Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, another anti-abortion group, said “most Americans do not want their tax dollars creating a marketplace for aborted baby body parts which are then implanted into mice and used for experimentation.
“This type of research involves the gross violation of basic human rights and certainly the government has no business funding it,” Mancini said.
But in an interview with The New York Times, Lawrence Gusting, a professor of public health law at Georgetown University, said the administration’s actions on Wednesday would “devastate” critical medical research.
“It will affect everything from cures for cancer and H.I.V. through to Parkinson’s and dementia,” Gusting told the Times. “The ban on fetal tissue research is akin to a ban on hope for millions of Americans suffering from life threatening and debilitating diseases.
“It will also severely impact the National Institutes of Health, universities, and other researchers, who will lose key funding for their laboratories and their vital work,” he said.
In The News
This article is by Emma Bryce and was originally published by Anthropocene magazine. Conservationists working to protect endangered animals often struggle with protecting the most vulnerable from predation. But instead of working to decrease predator numbers, one research group studying endangered wallabies has shown that temporarily... Read More
NEW YORK (AP) — A new analysis of blood samples from 24,000 Americans taken early last year is the latest and largest study to suggest that the new coronavirus popped up in the U.S. in December 2019 — weeks before cases were first recognized by health... Read More
Vaccine maker Novavax said Monday its COVID-19 shot was highly effective against the disease and also protected against variants in a large study in the U.S. and Mexico, potentially offering the world yet another weapon against the virus at a time when developing countries are desperate... Read More
Zharia Akeem, 19-year-old student at Tufts University, said that after being accepted into its Bridge to Engineering Success program she saw a need to help and bridge the gap between engineering research and minority communities. “I am the only person and woman of color in my... Read More
This article is by Emma Bryce and was originally published by Anthropocene magazine. Researchers have discovered that a medical device used to detect cancer in humans can also be employed to detect mislabeled seafood, and other meats—with 100% accuracy. The device, which can identify the species... Read More
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration on Monday granted its approval to aducanumab, an Alzheimer’s treatment developed by Biogen for use in patients, despite mixed clinical trial results for the drug. Prescribed under the brand name “Aduhelm,” the treatment is given intravenously and... Read More