This Wednesday, it was disclosed that the Trump administration drastically cutting back on funding for medical research that uses fetal tissue, effectively ending a 30-year partnership between the federal government and the University of California.
The San Francisco Business Times reports that the Trump administration has moved to end all government-related research that uses tissue from aborted fetuses, putting in jeopardy searches for cures regarding a wide array of diseases.
“UCSF strongly opposes today’s abrupt decision by the Health and Human Services Department to discontinue intramural fetal tissue research by scientists at the National Institutes of Health,” UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood said in a statement to the Business Times. “The efforts by the administration to impeded this work will undermine scientific discovery and the ability to find effective treatments for serious and life-threatening disease.”
“We believe this decision to be politically motivated, shortsighted and not based on sound science,” he added.
Pro-life groups praised the move, however, saying that alternative research should be utilized that doesn’t rely on fetuses from abortions. According to March for Life president Jeanne Mancini, “most Americans” don’t want their tax dollars going towards a “marketplace for aborted baby parts,” she told The New York Times.
Also speaking out was Family Research Council Tony Perkins. In a post to his website, Perkins wrote that the move has pro-lifers cheering,” adding that the decision would be a blow to Planned Parenthood, making its “organ harvesting ring” less profitable.
“Planned Parenthood has spent years fighting late-term abortion bans — and in 2015, we found out why,” Perkins wrote. “The earlier babies are aborted, the less profitable their parts are. That was just one of the nauseating revelations from the baby body parts scandal uncovered by the Center for Medical Progress. The other? That this organ harvesting ring had a startling buyer: the U.S. government.”
Perkins is referring to undercover videos released by the pro-life group Center for Medical Progress, which purported to show leading Planned Parenthood doctor, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, admitting to a pair of actors pretending to be buyers from a human biologics company that Planned Parenthood sells organs from aborted fetuses. In a statement put out after the videos were released, Planned Parenthood said that any fetal tissue from their procedure that goes towards medical research is approved by patients beforehand.
In an HHS announcement that has pro-lifers cheering, @SecAzar confirmed that the agency was canceling a $2 million-a-year contract with the University of California that funded fetal tissue research on aborted babies. @RepMarkMeadows #PPsellsbabyparts https://t.co/Khdt4swKQp
— FRC (@FRCdc) June 7, 2019
“There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood,” the statement read. “In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field.”
Also cheering the decision was North Carolina GOP Congressman Mark Meadows, who told Perkins that President Trump “is the most pro-life president we have had in the history of our country.”
“[Trump] is a champion. He’s not just an advocate. He’s been a champion for pro-life [causes],” Meadows said. “And all of the pro-life community should be applauding, because this was a tough, tough decision. He went against a whole lot of the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. to actually make sure that this happened.”
Trump’s crackdown on fetal tissue research comes in the wake of several restrictive abortion laws being enacted around the country, designed to pressure the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
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