Healthcare

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 Pocan (D-Wis.) and Ted Deutch (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 Peterson (Minn.), Daniel Lipinski (Ill.) and Ben McAdams (Utah).{mosads}

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 Trump 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.

Tags Abortion Collin Peterson Daniel Lipinski Donald Trump fetal tissue research Mark Pocan Medical research Ted Deutch
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