The National Institutes of Health (NIH) this week reversed a Trump-era policy blocking federally-funded facilities from conducting research using fetal tissue obtained from abortions.
Democrats celebrated the decision, praising the Biden Administration for ‘prioritizing science over politics.’
“We applaud the Biden Administration and [HHS] Secretary Xavier Becerra for prioritizing science and reversing the Trump Administration’s arbitrary barriers to both extramural and intramural research on the use of fetal tissue in scientific research,” reads a letter signed by 26 House Democrats.
The announcement was met with backlash from Republicans and anti-abortion groups, who argue that fetal tissue obtained through abortions should not be used for any reason.
“This type of experimental research is a gross violation of human dignity and is not where the majority of Americans want their tax dollars being spent,” argues Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action. “The government has no business creating a marketplace for aborted baby body parts.”
Earlier this month, Biden Administration officials announced a proposal to restore Title X funding for abortion clinics including Planned Parenthood and eased restrictions on mailing abortion pills.
“Pro-abortion Democrats push this deeply unpopular agenda at their own political peril,” warns Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, adding that the decision to use fetal tissue for research will “force Americans to be complicit in barbaric experiments.”
The NIH announcement dissolves the ethics board formerly tasked with reviewing applications for grants involving fetal tissue, though researchers are required to obtain consent from the donor and are not allowed to pay for samples. Consent must be given after the donor has already decided to have an abortion.