House Democrats vote to overturn Trump ban on fetal tissue research

House Democrats vote to overturn Trump ban on fetal tissue research
© Aaron Schwartz

House Democrats on Thursday voted to block the Trump administration’s recent ban on using federal funds to conduct medical research that relies on material collected from elective abortions.

An amendment from Reps. Mark PocanMark William PocanWork Share: How to help workers, businesses and states all at once Students with disabilities could lose with COVID-19 stimulus package Overnight Defense: 'Tens of thousands' of National Guard troops could be activated for coronavirus response | Hospital ships could take week to deploy | Trump says military to help Americans stuck in Peru MORE (D-Wis.) and Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchOcasio-Cortez knocks Pence: 'Utterly irresponsible to put him in charge of US coronavirus response' Father of Parkland shooting victim calls on Congress to take action Florida 'red flag' law has removed hundreds of guns: report MORE (D-Fla.) to a broader health care spending package passed 225-193, largely along party lines.

Three Democrats broke with their party and voted with Republicans: Reps. Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonSNAP, airlines among final hurdles to coronavirus stimulus deal Pelosi: House 'not prepared' to vote remotely on coronavirus relief bill Lone Democrat to oppose impeachment will seek reelection MORE (Minn.), Daniel LipinskiDaniel William LipinskiThe Hill's Campaign Report: Campaigns scale back amid coronavirus threat Dan Lipinski defeated in Illinois House primary Ocasio-Cortez announces slate of all-female congressional endorsements MORE (Ill.) and Ben McAdams (Utah).

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The amendment would overturn a decision the administration announced last week that scientists said dealt a blow to vital research. The move to tigthen federal restrictions on the use of fetal tissue was a victory for the anti-abortion movement, and one the White House said was made by President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor NBA to contribute 1 million surgical masks to NY essential workers Private equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program: report MORE alone.

Researchers said the tissue collected from elective abortions has helped develop vaccines and treatments for illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease, cancer and polio. Researchers also noted that the use of fetal tissue is subject to stringent laws and ethics standards.

In a tweet, Deutch said the amendment would “ensure science, not politics, guides our biomedical research. We can’t slow progress [because] of this administration’s anti-choice agenda.”

However, the House vote is likely just a symbolic one, as the Senate is controlled by Republicans, and Trump is not likely to sign a spending bill that would overturn his own policy.