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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pro-life groups are hailing Trump's decision to end taxpayer funding of research using the remains of human babies obtained from abortions and the commitment to develop alternatives to research.
On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced, after eight months of review, they canceled a $2 million research contract with the University of California, San Francisco (USCF) using human fetal tissue.
Citing concerns over appropriate protections and procurement requirement statutes were not consistently being met, the Trump administration also had concerns about the "moral and ethical considerations involved."
Trump's decision followed several months of review that started in September 2018. In the months following, "listening sessions" were held with industry experts.
According to the life sciences media journal STAT, during the listening sessions, "The scientists will be asked to state their rationale for using fetal tissue in their work, as well as to discuss potential research alternatives 'that do not utilize fetal tissues obtained through elective abortion' or that avoid the use of such tissue entirely."
STAT obtained an email from HHS that described the event that explained the contract with the FDA was canceled "in response to expression of concern over the use of fetal tissue in the development of mice with a humanized immune system." The email also noted that research conducted at the National Institutes of Health is what prompted the broad review of all research using human remains from aborted babies.
Despite the politically charged nature of the debate, sources familiar with the process saw the HHS' audit as a sincere effort to determine if less human tissue could be used without compromising the quality of research.
That sincerity and commitment was shown when the HHS announced in December that $20 million in grants over the next two years would be offered "for research to develop, demonstrate and validate experimental models that do not rely on human fetal tissue from elective abortions."
"Fetal tissue" is actually the human remains of unborn babies that were killed by elective abortions. The laws regarding the procurement of the tissue include stringent consent laws, many times bypassed by abortion workers. Inside sources also claim they lied to FedEx workers to ship human body parts in violation of federal law.
Largely unheard of before 2015, that year, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), and investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt secretly filmed Planned Parenthood workers discussing the sale and profit of aborted baby parts sparking a national call to defund Planned Parenthood.
"President Trump is showing transformative leadership by directing his pro-life administration to end the unconscionable taxpayer funding of fetal experimentation," CMP said.
The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) also hailed the decision. In a statement released Wednesday, Dr. Donna Harrison, AAPLOG national director, said, "AAPLOG applauds cutting off the taxpayer subsidies to the abortion industry which occurs when researchers pay for the body parts of human beings killed in abortion."
She continued, "The scientific reality is that a new human being is present in the womb of a pregnant mother."
"Further, we are deeply concerned about the profound, adverse effects of elective abortion, not just on women, but also on the entire involved family, and on our society at large," AAPLOG stated.
There are around 200 other current research projects utilizing tissue from aborted babies that will continue to be funded until their grants expire. Continuation of that research and any new research planned will be reviewed by an ethics advisory board before any funding is granted.
The HHS also promised to "undertake changes to its regulations and NIH grants policy to adopt or strengthen safeguards and program integrity requirements to extramural research involving human fetal tissue."
Pro-life groups such as Susan B. Anthony List and CMP feel this isn't enough.
"Now is the time for the U.S. Department of Justice and regulatory authorities to hold entities like Planned Parenthood who traffic in aborted baby body parts accountable under the law," CMP said.