December 11, 2018 Press Release

Further Evidence that Trump’s Health Department is Run by Anti-Abortion Lobby

HHS looks to replace life-saving research with unproven alternatives that “do not rely on fetal tissue”

12.11.18 - Yesterday evening, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a funding announcement for finding alternatives to using cells from fetal tissue in research, despite the fact that vaccines that have relied on such research have prevented 322 million illnesses, 732,000 premature deaths, and saved $1.38 trillion in the last 25 years.  Equity Forward issued the following statement in response:

“Another day, another move by HHS that threatens the health of millions,” said Mary Alice Carter, Executive Director of Equity Forward.  “Our nation’s health department should make decisions based on the best science available, not to appease special interest groups hell-bent on interfering in our most personal, private decisions.  

“When will this slide into ideology and away from science end?  Our nation’s health department should be run by scientists and researchers, not the anti-abortion lobby.  Secretary Azar should be ashamed.”

Yesterday’s announcement followed the news that HHS shut down a study that could potentially find a cure for HIV because the research relies on cells derived from fetal tissue.  This assault on this type of research comes a little over two months after Secretary Azar — bowing to pressure from the anti-abortion lobby — abruptly cancelled a long-standing contract with a fetal tissue provider while also announcing “a comprehensive review” of all fetal tissue research and procurement.   

It has been reported that Azar is considering discontinuing more than $100 million in research projects involving fetal tissue and is soliciting input on plans from anti-abortion interest groups including Susan B Anthony (SBA) List, whose President was an outspoken Trump campaigner.  In addition to holding extreme and out-of-touch views on abortion — including advocating for abortion bans without an exception for rape and incest — SBA List also promotes the work of the man who champions bogus science, such as the idea that a woman’s body has properties to protect  her from getting pregnant after rape.