The Trump administration has considered cutting off taxpayers’ funds for research on babies killed as a result of elective abortions. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ended a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) contract with tissue company Advanced Bioscience Resources last September.
After reviewing the issue, HHS announced Wednesday that it ended an FDA contract with the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and will discontinue federal funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for fetal-tissue research.
From HHS (emphases added):
HHS has been extending the UCSF contract by means of 90-day extensions while conducting its audit and review. The current extension expires on June 5, 2019, and there will be no further extensions.
Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President Trump’s administration. The audit and review helped inform the policy process that led to the administration’s decision to let the contract with UCSF expire and to discontinue intramural research – research conducted within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – involving the use of human fetal tissue from elective abortion. Intramural research that requires new acquisition of fetal tissue from elective abortions will not be conducted.
HHS will also undertake changes to its regulations and NIH grants policy to adopt or strengthen safeguards and program integrity requirements applicable to extramural research involving human fetal tissue.
According to HHS, some outside contracts will continue, but the government will review future research projects.
The reinvigorated call to defund Planned Parenthood began the summer of 2015, when pro-lifers David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, colleagues at the Center for Medical Progress, began releasing a series of secretly recorded videos that revealed Planned Parenthood and tissue research company employees discussing the sale of aborted-baby body parts.
SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser called the HHS announcement a major pro-life victory.
“NIH has spent $120 million a year on grisly, unethical experiments involving the hearts, livers, bones, and brains harvested from babies too young and vulnerable to speak for themselves. President Trump knows we can do better as a nation and we are encouraged to see NIH Director Francis Collins carry out the President’s pro-life commitment.”