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Fetal Tissue Research

To support ethical, high-priority research by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and well-qualified grantees, NIH must be allowed to ensure an effective, transparent process of reviewing research grants in a manner that promotes scientific rigor and guards against political interference. In 2019, HHS discontinued the funding of future research requiring newly acquired fetal tissue, stating that “promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death” drove the decision. NIH senior-level scientists protested the restrictions and pledged to continue funding existing fetal tissue research. NIH should immediately rescind these restrictions on research using human fetal tissue. The Biden-Harris administration should implement protections to avoid any future instances of political appointees’ interference with expert NIH evidence-based policy and grant-making decisions.