The Trump Administration announced Wednesday that medical research has been discontinued by government scientists using human fetal tissue. It has overruled the Council of Scientists that there is no other way to tackle some health problems and bring great victory to the opponents of abortion.
Add Trump Administration to keep abreast of ABC News latest news, videos and analysis. Funded research from universities involving fetal tissue may be continued if additional research is undertaken.
The changes to the guidelines do not affect privately funded research.
Fetal tissue is used to research HIV and childhood cancer treatments that are used to fight the body's immune system against cancer and finding a vaccine against the Zika virus, a cause of birth defects. The tissue from elective abortions would otherwise be discarded. Scientists use them to make mice that mimic how the human immune system works.
The cessation of use of fetal tissue by the National Institutes of Health has been a priority for anti-abortion activists, a core element of the political base of President Donald Trump.
The government's lead medical researcher, NIH Director Francis Collins, said in December of last year that he believes "there is strong evidence that research on fetal tissue brings scientific benefits."
A high-ranking administrative official announced that the decision had been dropped on Wednesday, the call of the president and not Collins & # 39 ;. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal considerations.
For decades, the government has funded research into fetal tissue under the leadership of both political parties.
The Government indicated that at least three federal research projects are currently active Affected are human fetal tissue and possibly up to 1
At present, there are no programs run by universities. the administration said. New projects suggesting the use of fetal tissue and current renewal projects are under further review.
Last year, the administration announced a review of whether the taxpayers' money was properly spent on research on fetal tissue. As a result, NIH stopped the procurement of new tissue. On Wednesday, the government announced that no expiring agreement will be renewed with the University of California, San Francisco, which has research into fetal tissue as its subject matter.
Although HHS stated to establish a balance between "pro-life" and "pro-science". According to medical investigators, the government fears major research efforts to satisfy anti-abortion activists.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said in a statement that the government had "done the right thing again" to restore a culture of life in our government. "
Susan B. Anthony List, a group campaigning for the election of legislators against abortion, said in a statement that funding taxpayers should promote the promotion of alternatives to the use of fetal tissue in medicine research.
The groups say there are alternatives, and scientific groups say this is not the case for every disease and condition.
Trump calls himself "strong for life," and his government has many steps To restrict access to abortion, which is still a legal medical process, Trump has appointed federal judges who are against abortion, have tried to cut money for planned parenting, and provide legal protection for medical providers who oppose abortion
At a Parliament hearing on this topic last December, the neuroscience shared In the scientific community, there is currently insufficient replacement of fetal tissue in some areas of research.
Temple explained that tissue samples from different stages of the life cycle are not interchangeable. "It's not the same material," she said. "It's a different stage of development, it has unique properties." She testified on behalf of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.
Biochemist Tara Sander Lee said that tissues from infants undergoing heart surgery are among the alternatives. However, Temple said researchers would easily use alternatives to fetal tissue if appropriate. Fetal tissue research cost $ 98 million in NIH grants and projects in 2017, a small fraction of the agency's total research budget. According to NIH, $ 98 million represents the entire budget for the grants in question, even though only a small portion of a given grant was spent on fetal tissue research.
HHS said in its statement that such steps will be undertaken with $ 20 million in scholarship program, which was announced last December to "develop, demonstrate and validate experimental models that are not based on elective human fetal tissue Abortions are based ".