Seen as the “gold standard” in many areas of medical research, fetal cells are widely used in coronavirus vaccine research.
Dan Vergano, BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on July 31, 2020
On Friday, a Trump administration panel erected to judge the ethics of federally funded research relying on human fetal cells met more than a year after it was first announced. Just hours before the meeting, the panel was revealed to be stacked with abortion opponents hostile to such research.
Human fetal cells are widely used in medical research to develop vaccines — notably in at least a half dozen current candidate coronavirus vaccines — as well for studying diseases including AIDS. The National Institutes of Health Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board was initially announced in June of last year, putting a hold on grant applications for medical research involving human fetal cells. It followed the Trump administration’s moves to cancel related federal research contracts and audit human fetal cell research.
Abortion opponents protest COVID-19 vaccines’ use of fetal cells
By Meredith Wadman, ScienceMag.org
Jun. 5, 2020
Senior Catholic leaders in the United States and Canada, along with other antiabortion groups, are raising ethical objections to promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates that are manufactured using cells derived from human fetuses electively aborted decades ago. They have not sought to block government funding for the vaccines, which include two candidate vaccines that the Trump administration plans to support with an investment of up to $1.7 billion, as well as a third candidate made by a Chinese company in collaboration with Canada’s National Research Council (NRC). But they are urging funders and policymakers to ensure that companies develop other vaccines that do not rely on such human fetal cell lines and, in the United States, asking the government to “incentivize” firms to only make vaccines that don’t rely on fetal cells.
Fetal tissue research targeted by abortion foes inside administration
By Lenny Bernstein, Amy Goldstein and Lena H. Sun
December 12 2018
Two years into an administration that describes itself as “pro-life and pro-science,” the use of fetal tissue in scientific research has become the next skirmish in the nation’s half-century-old abortion wars.
This time, however, scientists who depend on cells from aborted human fetuses face not just a cadre of determined antiabortion activists but sympathetic officials within the government itself, from Vice President Pence to key officials in the Department of Health and Human Services.
Fight over fetal tissue splits HHS, anti-abortion allies
Groups play hardball to end $100 million-plus in federally funded medical research.
By DAN DIAMOND
Anti-abortion groups — normally staunch allies of the Trump administration — have turned their fire on the health department, accusing the agency of being complicit in abortions by refusing to end research projects using fetal tissue.
The simmering fight spilled into public view on Monday night, as HHS abruptly terminated one longstanding contract with a fetal tissue provider while opening an audit of all federally funded research and practices related to fetal tissue, which is mostly obtained from abortions.