Health Secretary Becerra has given the go-ahead for using human foetal tissue for medical research
The Biden Administration is quickly dismantling pro-life initiatives of the Trump Administration. This week Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra green-lighted the use of human foetal tissue for medical research.
Government scientists can now resume research that uses tissue from elective abortions. No special ethical approval will be needed for federally-funded research at universities.
The use of foetal tissue is extremely controversial.
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine applauded the change. “The United States government has developed a robust system of oversight. …. Ideologically driven politicians must not be allowed to interfere with this system on a whim. Whether it’s foetal tissue, embryonic stem cells or CRISPR, we have an unfortunate tendency to politicize scientific advances if they in any way touch on reproduction,” it declared.
However, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a pro-life think-tank, responded that “Secretary Becerra will open the floodgates to federal taxpayer funding and trafficking of baby body parts. His actions are reckless, dangerous and harmful to innocent unborn life.”
In its report, NPR set this decision in context.
“This action is part of something larger – the anti-abortion rights movement is finding itself on the losing side of a lot of policy battles at the federal level. Just this week, the Biden administration announced steps to reverse changes to the Title X family planning program that had effectively cut significant funding to groups like Planned Parenthood. That news came after the FDA announced it will temporarily loosen restrictions on abortion pills, during the pandemic.
“So, expect many more political fights over issues related to abortion rights in the years to come; at the same time that Biden is taking these actions at the federal level, conservatives still hold a lot of power – in state legislatures and the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge
fetal tissue research
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