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 PocanOmar says US should reconsider aid to Israel Trump crosses new line with Omar, Tlaib, Israel move Liberal Democrat eyes aid cuts to Israel after Omar, Tlaib denied entry MORE (D-Wis.) and Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchGun epidemic is personal for lawmakers touched by violence House panel advances anti-gun violence legislation Gun debate to shape 2020 races 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 PetersonThe Hill's Morning Report - Can Trump save GOP in North Carolina special election? The 9 House Republicans who support background checks Congress must work together and solve humanitarian crisis at the border MORE (Minn.), Daniel LipinskiDaniel William LipinskiThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate Warren endorses Lipinski challenger Marie Newman Ten notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment MORE (Ill.) and Ben McAdams (Utah).

ADVERTISEMENT

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 TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border 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.