NIH to make announcement on fetal tissue research policy amid Trump-era restrictions


The NIH plans to make an announcement on its fetal tissue research policy following a Trump administration ban, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra said on Thursday.

During a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Becerra said NIH “will be making an announcement I believe tomorrow” on the ban implemented in 2019.

“You want to keep your ears open for that,” he said. “But we believe that we have to do the research that it takes to make sure that we’re incorporating innovation and getting all of those types of treatments and therapies out there to the American people.”

Republican member’s response: Rep. Ben Cline (R-Va.) said, “I hope you’re going to continue the Trump administration policy and that’s going to be your announcement tomorrow.”

Earlier this week: 26 Democratic House members sent a letter to Becerra calling for the Biden administration to end the Trump-era restriction, noting fetal tissue has been used in treatments for COVID-19 and to study Zika and HIV, among other diseases.

“The previous administration’s restrictions on fetal tissue research continue to threaten scientific and medical advances by blocking intramural researchers from using the material and discouraging extramural researchers from pursuing research with it,” the lawmakers wrote. “The Trump administration’s policy was politically motivated and unnecessary.”