The Trump administration announced Wednesday that it would significantly decrease funding towards medical research involving tissue from aborted fetuses, The New York Times reports. The Department of Health and Human Services said it would end a $2 million-a-year contract it had with the University of California, San Francisco, for research involving fetal tissue. The department also said it would “discontinue” research using fetal tissue within the National Institutes of Health. “Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President Trump’s administration,” HHS said in a statement.
About 200 projects using fetal tissue at universities or funded by NIH grants will reportedly be allowed to continue, but an “ethics advisory board” will review grant renewal applications under the new policy. Experts told the newspaper the move will drastically affect the research on HIV, Parkinson’s, and dementia, while supporters of the department’s action said using aborted fetal tissue in research is a “gross violation of basic human rights[.]”