NIH reverses Trump administration’s ban on fetal tissue research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) officially on Friday rescinded the ban on using fetal tissues in research, reversing a Trump-era policy instituted almost two years ago.

In a notice, the agency announced it was overturning the Trump administration’s policy that an ethics board to review all applicants for NIH grants involving fetal tissue from elective abortions. Trump also blocked NIH scientists from obtaining new fetal tissue derived from abortions for research purposes.

The notice also said the Department of Health and Human Services and NIH will no longer assemble an NIH Human Fetal Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board.

“NIH reminds the community of expectations to obtain informed consent from the donor for any NIH-funded research using human fetal tissue … and of continued obligations to conduct such research only in accord with any applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulations, including prohibitions on the payment of valuable consideration for such tissue,” the notice reads.

The move comes after a group of 26 Democratic House members wrote to President Biden calling for an end to the restriction on research involving fetal tissue