By Micaiah Bilger
The Trump administration is exploring ways to end the taxpayer-funded purchasing of aborted baby parts through research grants.
Politico obtained a letter from a top Department of Health and Human Services official this week indicating that they are willing to stop the aborted baby parts purchasing if they can find ethical alternatives.
The National Institute of Health, an agency under HHS, has given about $100 million in research contracts to scientists who use aborted baby parts in their research. Pro-life groups have been urging the federal government to end the taxpayer-funded commoditization of human lives, but some scientists are pushing back with claims that fetal tissue from healthy aborted babies is the best material for their research.
The letter from HHS assistant secretary of health Brett Giroir to pro-life Congressman Mark Meadows, of North Carolina, indicates the Trump administration is working toward ending taxpayer-funded purchases of aborted baby parts.
Giroir said HHS is “fully committed to prioritizing, expanding, and accelerating efforts to develop and implement the use of these alternatives.” He also said the department is “pro-life and pro-science.”
Politico did not name the source that provided it with Giroir’s letter.
Here’s more from the report:
Giroir’s letter — drafted in response to a meeting with Meadows and before HHS has listening sessions with scientists on Friday afternoon — suggests that the Trump administration has committed to efforts to accelerate the development of alternatives so it could reduce or eliminate the use of fetal tissue. The draft defines alternatives as “models that are scientifically validated and reproducible in multiple conditions and by multiple investigators.”
HHS spokesperson Caitlin Oakley said the agency has not made a formal determination on whether to continue to fund fetal tissue research. “We continue to go through a thoughtful, deliberative process given the scientific ethical and moral considerations involved,” she said. “When we receive inquiries from members of Congress, we respond.”
Over the past few months, pro-life groups and conservative news outlets have been uncovering new details about government spending on aborted baby parts for research. Some of these contracts have used tax dollars to pay for body parts of healthy, late-term aborted babies – including potentially viable unborn babies up to 24 weeks.
The Trump administration canceled one contract already, but the practice continues.