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  • Washington Highlights

    Fetal Tissue Panel Issues Interim Report

    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach
    Heather Pierce, Senior Director, Science Policy & Regulatory Counsel

    The majority members of the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives July 14 released an interim update on its work investigating the transfer of fetal tissue and related matters. The 88-page report describes the panel’s initial perspectives with respect to financial transactions of abortion providers and the potential impact on health care services. The report also describes the panel’s intent to continue exploring these issues through the remainder of the year.

    Additionally, the report includes a section challenging the necessity of fetal tissue in medical research. The AAMC submitted a statement affirming the value of fetal tissue research for the record of the panel’s March 2 hearing [see Washington Highlights, March 4].

    Select Panel Chair Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) presented the report to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) at a July 14 press conference, in which he stated that the panel “will continue to have the full support of our leadership team to continue their mission.”

    The panel, established under the House Energy and Commerce Committee in October 2015 to investigate allegations of the sale of human fetal tissue for profit, has held two hearings to date [see Washington Highlights, April 22] and has issued both letters of inquiry and subpoenas to several organizations [see Washington Highlights, April 1].

    In response to the update, Select Panel Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) issued a statement noting, “Their interim report, which Democrats learned about through a press advisory, proves that this Panel needs to be disbanded now, before more lives are put at risk.”

    At the press conference, Chairwoman Blackburn indicated that the panel will deliver its final report and complete its work by the end of the year.