After President Biden nixed Trump-era restrictions, the National Institutes of Health predicts that it will spend $173 million on human fetal tissue research grants over the next two years.
The new paperwork requirements, along with a new, lengthy ethics review, raise worries that many investigators will fail to land grants that rely on fetal tissue — and others won’t even try to win them. “With these rules, it’s not impossible” to do fetal tissue research with NIH support, says Lawrence Goldstein, a stem cell neuroscientist at the University of California (UC), San Diego, “but it’s going to be very problematic.”
“This does a pretty good job of doing what the pro-life people want. It makes grant applications a lot more onerous, substantially and procedurally, while allowing [the Trump administration] to say: ‘We’re not completely banning it,’” says Hank Greely, a bioethicist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
In 2018 — under the Trump administration — the NIH provided a record-breaking $115 million in grants involving human fetal tissue. In 2019, the agency granted $109 million; in 2020, the agency granted $82 million as the ban entered full effect.
Three months ago, however, the Biden administration issued another order that ended President Trump’s restrictions. According to a release from the National Institutes of Health:
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.
“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,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said about the move.
Indeed, data from the NIH reveal that the agency foresees an uptick in grants related to human fetal tissue. Presently, the NIH Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization system predicts that the agency will spend $85 million in 2021 and $88 million in 2022 on fetal tissue research.
As a March analysis from The Daily Wire revealed, taxpayer funding of human fetal tissue research enables a multimillion-dollar “abortion-academia industrial complex” through which universities partner with local abortion facilities to experiment on the remains of preborn babies.
More recently, The Daily Wire reported that the University of California-San Francisco harvested reproductive organs — including “gonads” — from dozens of preborn children. The university also trains thousands of medical students across the country to conduct abortions.
In May, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — which is led by Dr. Anthony Fauci — funded a study at the university in which researchers grew bacteria in aborted babies’ spleens, lymph nodes, and small intestines.
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.