Trump Administration Ending Federal Research Projects Using Fetal Tissue

WASHINGTON DC- MAY 22 U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Susan B. Anthony List's 11th annual Campaign for Life Gala at the National Building Museum

The Trump administration announced Wednesday that it would cancel immediately federal funding for research at the University of California San Francisco using human fetal tissue from abortions, weighing in again on a charged issue fraught with scientific and moral implications.

"This is a major pro-life victory and we thank President Trump for taking decisive action", said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion rights group the Susan B. Anthony List.

The department said current NIH-funded research at academic centers with abortion-derived fetal tissue can continue, however, and new projects can still be funded, though only after a special ethics review.

The investigation was spurred on by a series of undercover investigations from several years ago that revealed that Planned Parenthood officials regularly transacted with medical and laboratory supply companies to sell fetal tissue obtained during the abortions Planned Parenthood provides.

Researchers in favor of the practice claim the use of "humanized mice" - mice given humanlike immune systems using fetal tissues - can eventually provide cures for HIV, eye disease, cancer, and other illnesses. "There are no alternative research models that can replace all fetal tissue research". Dozens of pro-life leaders and House members successfully pressured the FDA and HHS to terminate the contract, but concerns remained over almost $100 million in tax dollars that continued to pay for other research using tissue and organs from aborted babies.

Fetal tissue is used in research on HIV and childhood cancers, treatments that enlist the body's immune system to battle cancer, and the hunt for a vaccine against the Zika virus, a cause of birth defects.

"President Trump knows we can do better as a nation and we are encouraged to see NIH Director Francis Collins carry out the President's pro-life commitment". As a result, NIH froze procurement of new tissue. "This is yet another step by the Trump administration in the march to restore the sanctity of all human life in America", said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who called the decision "one based upon the desire of this administration to use taxpayer dollars in the pursuit of science that is both ethical and effective".

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'HHS will also undertake changes to its regulations and NIH grants policy to adopt or strengthen safeguards and program integrity requirements applicable to extramural research involving human fetal tissue, ' the statement said.

Mr Trump has been outspoken about his anti-abortion views in the course of his presidency.

"The audit and evaluation helped record the policy job that led to the administration's resolution to let the contract with UCSF expire and to prevent intramural study - study performed in some unspecified time in the future of the National Institutes of Smartly being - attractive the utilization of human foetal tissue from optional abortion", the assertion talked about.

"Despite the president's pledge to 'end the HIV epidemic, ' today's announcement poses a direct threat to crucial research to find treatments for HIV and other health threats", Megan Donovan of the Guttmacher Institute told The Associated Press. "Ideologues should not be allowed to stand in for real doctors and scientists when the government is making decisions about lifesaving medicine".

Privately funded or university-led research is no longer suffering from the protection.

Since 2016, the appropriations bill has contained a rider that prohibits the federal Food and Drug Administration and NIH from conducting research or funding trials involving gene editing of embryos or human germlines.

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