UNITED STATES—President Donald Trump and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Wednesday, June 5, that all scientific research on the use of human fetal tissue will stop.
According to the Health and Human Services website, HHS terminated the contract between Advanced Bioscience Research and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which provided human fetal tissue from abortions to develop testing protocols.
The contract was terminated on September 18, 2018, but could not be assure the termination of the contract included the use of fetal tissue obtained from abortions.
The Department of Health and Human Services initiated a comprehensive review of research involving human fetal tissue from elective abortions to ensure consistency with statutes and regulations governing research. It will ensure the adequacy of procedures and oversight of this research in light of the regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved.
The HHS had an existing contract with the University of California, San Francisco when the audit started. HHS extended the contract with UCSF in 90-day intervals while the audit was being completed. The last extension expired on June 5.
The Trump administration indicated on Wednesday that they would be notifying the University of California, San Francisco that they will not be renewing the contract.
Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is a top priority of President Trump’s administration.
Science Magazine reported the announcement by HHS that they will no longer allow government scientist working for the National Institute of Health (NIH) to conduct research that relied on fetal tissues, that received over $13 million in 2018. HHS now requires any scientist applying for NIH funding to appear before an ethics board to ensure a suitable alternative to fund the research. There is a $20 million funding opportunity for research and development of an ethical substitute.