White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday said the White House “respectfully disagrees” with the Catholic Church regarding the use of aborted babies for medical research.
EWTN reporter Owen Jensen asked Psaki to clarify the White House’s response to the recent rebuke from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops toward President Joe Biden for his decision to reverse former President Donald Trump’s ban on using aborted babies for taxpayer-funded research.
The bishops described the president’s decision as “deeply offensive to millions of Americans,” who object to their tax dollars being “used for research that collaborates with an industry built on the taking of innocent lives.”
“Look, I think the White House respectfully disagrees,” Psaki replied. “We believe that it’s important to invest in science and look for opportunities to cure diseases and that’s what I think this is hopeful to do.”
.@PressSec is asked about the ban being lifted on researchers using fetal tissue from elective abortions:
"It's important to invest in science." pic.twitter.com/zNczR2qEJL
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 27, 2021
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced earlier this month that the federal government was lifting the Trump-era ban on using aborted fetal tissue for medical research. As the National Institute of Health (NIH) website explains:
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.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said on April 20 that “the bodies of children killed by abortion deserve the same respect as that of any other person.”
“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,” continued Naumann, who has before said that Biden, who claims to be a devout Roman Catholic, should be denied the sacrament of communion in the Catholic Church for his abortion views.
“It is unethical to promote and subsidize research that can lead to legitimizing the violence of abortion,” Naumann added. “Researchers have demonstrated that we can do effective scientific research and develop efficacious clinical treatments without harvesting tissue from aborted babies.”
Biden is at odds with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which condemns public support for abortion as a “grave offense” worthy of excommunication.
“Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion,” the catechism reads. “This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.”