Biden-Harris HHS to allow taxpayer-funded research using aborted children, eliminates ethics board

Biden HHS, Women's Health Protection Act

The Biden-Harris administration is walking back the previous administration’s policies when it comes to research done using the bodies of children obtained from elective abortions. 

According to a statement released Friday, April 16th, “HHS is reversing its 2019 decision that all research applications for NIH grants and contracts proposing the use of human fetal tissue from elective abortions will be reviewed by an Ethics Advisory Board.” Scientists and research institutions will be able to apply for federal grants without ethics oversight related to use of the bodies of aborted children. 

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra defended the decision. Politico quotes Becerra as saying, “We believe that we have to do the research it takes to make sure that we are incorporating innovation and getting all of those types of treatments and therapies out there to the American people.” Medical groups subscribing to an ends-justify-means philosophy regarding fetal tissue research have pushed for this action since President Biden took office, stressing that “highly worthy, scientifically meritorious research” was being neglected by not being able to use the bodies of aborted children. 

In a press release, the National Right to Life slammed the decision that will make it easier to exploit aborted babies with taxpayer funds. “We condemn this sickening decision by the Biden administration,” said Carol Tobias, the organization’s president.. “Tiny human babies are aborted by abortionists and then exploited to be farmed for their organs and tissue for use in experiments […] The Biden administration and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra have dismantled the process of making researchers meet any ethical standards when it comes to harvesting the body parts of aborted children for research.”

READ: Biden selects Xavier Becerra, prosecutor of pro-life activists, to lead HHS

Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Chairman of the U.S. Catholic Bishops pro-life committee, also condemned the decision. “The bodies of children killed by abortion deserve the same respect as that of any other person,” he said, according to CNS. “Our government has no right to treat innocent abortion victims as a commodity that can be scavenged for body parts to be used in research. […] Researchers have demonstrated that we can do effective scientific research and develop efficacious clinical treatments without harvesting tissue from aborted babies. It is also deeply offensive to millions of Americans for our tax dollars to be used for research that collaborates with an industry built on the taking of innocent lives. I call on the Biden Administration to instead fund research that does not rely upon body parts taken from innocent children killed through abortion.”

The use of aborted fetal tissue is not necessary for scientific innovation, and in 2019, the previous administration put ethical safeguards in place in the form of review boards to ensure federal grants were not used for research that used aborted fetal tissue without justification. The board met once, and rejected 13 of the 14 submitted proposals, because the proposals did not utilize ethical alternatives for research, according to SBA List

Past attempts to shed light on the illegal sale of aborted baby parts for research and other uses have been met with hostility. In 2017, then-Attorney General of California Kamala Harris teamed up with Planned Parenthood to suppress pro-life journalist David Daleiden and CMP’s investigation into Planned Parenthood’s participation in the trafficking of fetal tissue. Daleiden sued both Harris and then-Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and has been tied up in legal battles since. 

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