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Trump Admin To Restrict Funding for Research on Aborted Babies

The Trump administration has announced that it will be cutting federal funding for certain research conducted on tissue harvested from aborted babies.

The Department of Health and Human Services informed the University of California, San Francisco, it will not be renewing a contract funding research performed on human fetal tissue from elective abortions, according to a statement published on the department’s website Wednesday.

The contract expired on June 5, the day the statement was released. It was previously being renewed in 90-day increments for several months while the department conducted an internal audit and review of all federal government funding of such research.

The audit, which began in September 2018, came as a result of reviews done on a contract between Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. and the Food and Drug Administration.

Upon initial review, the department was “not sufficiently assured” that the contract included “appropriate protections applicable to fetal tissue research or met all other procurement requirements,” and further review of any and all such contracts began to aid in determining where cuts should be made for ethical and policy-related reasons.

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“HHS also initiated a comprehensive review of all HHS research involving human fetal tissue from elective abortions to ensure consistency with statutes and regulations governing such research, and to ensure the adequacy of procedures and oversight of this research in light of the serious regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved,” the department wrote.

“Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President [Donald] Trump’s administration,” the statement reads. “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.”

As a result of this decision, no government scientists at the National Institute of Health will be conducting any “research that requires new acquisition of fetal tissue from elective abortions.”

This will not, however, impact what the department refers to as current “extramural” research — research of the same nature funded by government contract and conducted by non-governmental organizations.

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“No current extramural research projects (research conducted outside NIH, e.g., at universities, that are funded by NIH grants) will be affected during their currently approved project period,” the HHS statement reads.

However, the department statement does suggest the review process for those extramural contracts will be strict — and those which do not meet the standards will go unfunded.

“For new extramural research grant applications or current research projects in the competitive renewal process (generally every five years) that propose to use fetal tissue from elective abortions and that are recommended for potential funding through NIH’s two-level external scientific review process, an ethics advisory board will be convened to review the research proposal,” HHS wrote.

“Finally, HHS is continuing to review whether adequate alternatives exist to the use of human fetal tissue from elective abortions in HHS-funded research and will ensure that efforts to develop such alternatives are funded and accelerated,” the department added, stating that $20 million had been allocated to research and development of such alternatives in December.

According to Fox News, officials inside the Trump administration say decisions like these mark the administration’s “wider” pro-life agenda — and they come directly from the Oval Office.

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“[The decision] fits inside the wider context of the president’s pro-life agenda since he was sworn into office, So you’ve seen a consistent pattern of pro-life-focused decisions and policy decisions from the president over the last two and a half years,” an unidentified official told Fox.

“This is consistent with that direction and there will be continued work on the pro-life agenda throughout the rest of the first term and the second term as well, and so we will always work to err on the side of life in all critical decisions that come to the Oval Office at the president’s direction.”

“It fits inside the wider context of the president’s pro-life agenda since he was sworn into office. So you’ve seen a consistent pattern of pro-life-focused decisions and policy decisions from the president over the last two and a half years,” the official added.

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