Pro-life demonstrators are seen near the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington March 4, 2020. CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn

Bishops denounce revival of fetal tissue research

By 
  • April 29, 2021

WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee is calling on the Biden administration to fund research “that does not rely upon body parts taken from innocent children killed through abortion.”

“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,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

His remarks were a reaction to a notice the National Institutes of Health posted April 16 in the grants area of its website announcing the end of a Trump administration ban on research involving human fetal tissue acquired from elective abortions.

In addition, NIH and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will no longer convene the Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board.

Under President Donald Trump, the agencies established the board to review applications for NIH grants, and research and development contracts that proposed using fetal tissue from elective abortions.

The previous administration also terminated contracts with outside institutions that used fetal stem cells for research.

“It is unethical to promote and subsidize research that can lead to legitimizing the violence of abortion,” Naumann said. “Researchers have demonstrated that we can do effective scientific research and develop efficacious clinical treatments without harvesting tissue from aborted babies.”

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