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HHS Official Promises to Pursue Research Alternatives to Fetal Tissue

Brett Giroir, the HHS assistant secretary of health reportedly sent a letter to Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) Friday saying that the agency was seeking “adequate alternatives” to the use of fetal tissue in taxpayer-funded research.


The agency is currently reviewing their funding of research that employs fetal tissue. In 2018, the National Institutes of Health spent $103 million on projects involving fetal tissue.

HHS “initiated 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,” according to a statement they issued in September.

Giroir wrote Friday that HHS is “fully committed to prioritizing, expanding, and accelerating efforts to develop and implement the use of these alternatives.”

The letter was sent in response to a meeting with Meadows on the topic and HHS held listening sessions with scientists on the issue Friday.

“We continue to go through a thoughtful, deliberative process given the scientific ethical and moral considerations involved,” HHS spokesperson Caitlin Oakley told Politico. “When we receive inquiries from members of Congress, we respond.”


Prolife groups have long opposed the use of fetal tissue in research. Planned Parenthood was forced to end their practice of taking reimbursement for fetal tissue after a series of undercover videos highlighted the group’s alleged trafficking in fetal tissue.

The nation’s largest abortion provider claimed that the money exchanged for the tissue simply covered procurement costs.

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