The Biden-Harris administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it is reversing the Trump administration’s decision to end taxpayer funding for experimental research that uses fetal tissue derived from aborted babies.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency under the authority of HHS, announced Friday an “Update on Changes to NIH Requirements Regarding Proposed Human Fetal Tissue Research”:
On June 5, 2019, HHS announced that NIH intramural research that requires new acquisition of human fetal tissue from elective abortions will not be conducted. Simultaneously, HHS announced new requirements for documentation and review by an Ethics Advisory Board of extramural research applications for NIH grants, cooperative agreements, and R&D contracts proposing the use of human fetal tissue obtained from elective abortions.
This notice informs the extramural research community that 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. Accordingly, HHS/NIH will not convene another NIH Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board.
The announcement refers to the fact that, in addition to ending internal research with fetal tissue from elective abortions, the Trump administration applied a rigorous ethics review protocol in considering funding for research outside of its department – both of which the Biden-Harris HHS is overturning.