HHS Ends Funding For Research Using Fetal Tissue, Curtailing Work On HIV, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Austism

ABC News reports:

The Trump administration said Wednesday it is ending medical research by government scientists using human fetal tissue, overriding the advice of scientists that there’s no other way to tackle some health problems and handing abortion opponents a major victory.

Fetal tissue is used in research on HIV and childhood cancers, treatments that enlist the body’s immune system to battle cancer, and the hunt for a vaccine against the Zika virus, a cause of birth defects. The tissue from elective abortions would otherwise be discarded. Scientists use it to produce mice that model how the human immune system works.

The Washington Post reports:

The Trump administration on Wednesday ended medical research by government scientists using fetal tissue and also cancelled a multi-million-dollar contract for a university laboratory that uses the material to test new HIV treatments.

The decision is a victory for anti-abortion advocates and a major disappointment to scientists who say the tissue collected from elective abortions has been instrumental to unlocking the secrets of diseases that range from HIV to cancer to Zika, vaccine production and treatment for illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease.

An immediate loser is a University of California at San Francisco laboratory whose multi-year contract with the government to test HIV herapies was terminated without explanation. The government was its sole source of funding.