Trump administration ends government funding of research using fetal tissue

Immediately affected is a UC-San Francisco laboratory whose contract with the National Institutes of Health using “humanized mice” was terminated for unspecified ethical reasons

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

The Trump administration on Wednesday ended funding of medical research by government scientists using fetal tissue and canceled a multimillion-dollar contract for a university laboratory that uses the material to test new HIV therapies.

The decision to tighten federal support for an ideologically polarizing aspect of medical research was made by President Trump himself, according to two sources familiar with the decision-making.

It represents a victory for antiabortion advocates key to his political base, who immediately lauded the change, and a major disappointment to scientists who say the tissue collected from elective abortions has been instrumental to unlocking the secrets of diseases that range from AIDS to cancers to Zika, as well as to developing vaccines and treatments for illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease.

The Health and Human Services Department announced the policy shift in a six-paragraph statement. “Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President Trump’s administration,” the statement said.

Scientists were incensed. “I think it’s ultimately a terrible, nonsensical policy,” said Larry Goldstein, distinguished professor in the University of California San Diego’s department of cellular and molecular medicine, who has advised scientific groups that use fetal tissue. “Valuable research that is directed at helping to develop therapies for terrible diseases will be stopped. And tissue that would be used will be thrown out instead.”

Immediately affected is a University of California at San Francisco laboratory whose multiyear contract with the National Institutes of Health to test potential HIV therapies using “humanized mice” was terminated for unspecified ethical reasons. The government has been the lab’s sole source of funding.

The scientific community has been adamant that no alternatives to human fetal tissue have proven equally effective. Opponents, however, say that newer methods, including the use of thymus tissue from newborn infants who undergo heart surgeries, appear promising. Late last year, NIH announced it would award $20 million in grants to support the development of alternatives.

Full story at Washington Post.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Good for Trump!

  2. God bless this man. How did we get so lucky?

  3. Bravo President Trump! Taking organs from highly variable human abortions is not the way to do unimpeachable science. Stem cell scientists are involved in a huge hoax because after lavish funding in California they have not yet cured a SINGLE disease. Not one. Why give them the black baby fetus tissue to make humanized mice that need three very variable organs to be put into a mouse to predict what might happen or not in a human immune system. What stem cell scientists want is ABORTION at the fetal stage. Go with the culture of life of Saint John Paul the 2d on this one. Trump is great. MAGA.

  4. Joel Fago says

    God created humans male and female. Scientists, do not play God!

  5. St. Christopher says

    Amazing that anyone would object to the miracle that God has brought through Donald Trump. Satan is far beyond our understanding, with his Angelic intelligence and power. It is entirely consistent with history that the devil vests wonderful things to come from great evil. The “tissue” (you know, skin, and muscle, and stuff from “pregnancy parasites”) is sacred. Whether or not some scientific marvel is found in using tissue from the murdered, we cannot embrace using the fruits of moral evil for ourselves. Scientists like Larry Goldstein are blind to the real issues here. Yes, paradoxically, even if accepting and using Satan’s “gift” to cure cancer, Mankind commits itself to damnation for doing so. Satan wants souls.

  6. God smiled on us when He gave us President Trump! Amazingly, even with all the pro-life acts from Trump, I predict that many Catholics will still vote Democrat.

  7. John Morris says

    Let the Left ask their rich Hollywood and tech comrades to fund putting baby body parts in to mice or rats.

    The citizens of the USA must not be forced to fund something so barbaric.

    Prayes for Trump to get re-elected !!!!!

  8. Susan Grimme says

    Yay Trump! I haven’t agreed with you on many things but this is one thing I do!

  9. St. Christopher, I agree wholeheartedly with your comments, except for the first sentence. Let’s think about how we can convince at least half the population of the US that life begins at conception. Half the population doesn’t believe that a “fetus” is a baby until he or she is born. That is really the issue, they don’t think it is evil to kill an unborn child. How do we change that belief? Whatever we’re doing isn’t working, so we need new methods and new arguments.

    • St. Christopher says

      That’s not it, “Bob One.” The true question is who controls the life within the Mother; most people recognize that there is “life” within the woman. It is just that more and more do not care what happens to that life, as long as its “mother,” can have unfettered sex. People want no inhibitions on their sexual expression, that’s what this is about. Perhaps the Supreme Court can create a new “penumbral” right in the Constitution to support this desire.

    • bohemond says

      Of course Bob One disagrees with the first sentence he would have much rather have had Hillary win….

  10. Trump has done more moral, economic and social good for the U.S. than all the U.S. bishops combined. The bishops’ political advice for 2020 in their “Faithful Citizenship” document should simply be: vote to re-elect President Trump and vote a straight Republican ticket in your jurisdiction. Then the bishops can get to their proper business of spiritual advice and leadership.

  11. I sent a thank you to him

    It is not right to kill one innocent person to get their body parts to save someone else. There are better more ethical ways of doing that, and that is where the research should be done.

  12. Donaldus Maximus strikes again. No babies killed at 17 weeks for medical experimentation. Also met Prime Minister Abe, the Emperor of Japan, Theresa May, the Queen, President Macron, the Irish prime minister, and signed a deal returning Central American illegal migrants to Mexico. All in two weeks work. God shed His grace on US with this President.

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