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 PocanOvernight Defense: Nearly 500 former national security officials formally back Biden | 40 groups call on House panel to investigate Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds 40 groups call on House panel to investigate Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds Overnight Defense: Pentagon redirects pandemic funding to defense contractors | US planning for full Afghanistan withdrawal by May | Anti-Trump GOP group puts ads in military papers MORE (D-Wis.) and Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchShakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' Florida Democrat introduces bill to recognize Puerto Rico statehood referendum Matt Gaetz, Roger Stone back far-right activist Laura Loomer in congressional bid 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 PetersonKate Schroder in Ohio among Democratic challengers squelching GOP hopes for the House The Hill's Campaign Report: 19 years since 9/11 | Dem rival to Marjorie Taylor Greene drops out | Collin Peterson faces fight of his career | Court delivers blow to ex-felon voting rights in Florida Peterson faces fight of his career in deep-red Minnesota district MORE (Minn.), Daniel LipinskiDaniel William LipinskiFive things we learned from this year's primaries Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses slate of non-Hispanic candidates Bottom line 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 TrumpTrump signs bill averting shutdown after brief funding lapse Privacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus 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.