House Overturns Trump Administration’s Fetal Tissue Research Ban

House lawmakers voted 225-193 on an amendment to overturn the Trump administration’s June 5 ban on federal funding for biomedical research involving human fetal tissue. The measure was inserted into a broader 2020 spending package amendment bound for the Republican-controlled Senate where the reversal will likely not be approved, making it a mostly symbolic gesture.

“The administration’s decision to forgo [development of] treatments, cures for diseases, Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s – this is once again putting personal ideology ahead of public health,” said Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT).

A research coalition of universities and professional medical organizations released a letter supporting this amendment to overturn the ban. “We are deeply concerned about the delayed development of new therapies and the loss of scientific knowledge that will result from this policy, and strongly support your attempts to prevent its implementation,” the coalition wrote. “We are concerned about the potential chilling effect of this policy on biomedical research.”

Sources: STAT, June 13, 2019; The Washington Post, June 13, 2019.