On Wednesday the Trump Administration announced that it is banning government scientists from using human fetal tissue in research.
Under new regulations, the government will prohibit federal scientists from obtaining fetal tissue from abortions to use in medical research.
In a statement released Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Services said that “Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President Trump’s administration.”
Private research funded by the government which uses fetal tissue will still be allowed to continue, although it will be subject to additional scrutiny.
The ban is a clear victory for the pro-life movement.
Maureen Ferguson, Senior Fellow for The Catholic Association, released a statement in favor of the decision:
“Today’s Administration action on government contracts for human fetal tissue sends a strong message in defense of human dignity. It is utterly dehumanizing to use a preborn human being as raw material for scientific experiments, and it is wholly inappropriate for taxpayers to support such unethical research. We applaud Secretary Azar for beginning to shift government resources towards ethical alternatives that do not rely on the remains of aborted children."
The move by the administration comes after it received backlash from pro-life advocates about National Institute of Health director, Dr. Francis Collins. Collins said that “there’s strong evidence scientific benefits come from fetal tissue research.”
In its statement Wednesday, HHS addressed this viewpoint directly:
In December 2018, NIH announced a $20 million funding opportunity for research to develop, demonstrate, and validate experimental models that do not rely on human fetal tissue from elective abortions. HHS is committed to providing additional funding to support the development and validation of alternative models.
The Trump Administration has been an openly pro-life administration. From nominating federal judges who oppose abortion, to repeatedly trying to cut funding from Planned Parenthood, the administration is an ally to pro-life advocates.