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  • Washington Highlights

    Research Community Urges Lifting Fetal Tissue Research Restrictions


    Christa Wagner, Manager, Government Relations
    Tannaz Rasouli, Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach

    The AAMC joined nearly 100 organizations representing the medical and scientific communities fighting the COVID-19 pandemic on a March 25 letter urging President Donald Trump to lift the restrictions on research using human fetal tissue funded by the National Institutes of Health [see Washington Highlights, June 7, 2019, July 19, 2019].

    The letter expresses the important role of fetal tissue in past developments of vaccines and therapies for viral pathogens and argues that “all biomedical research tools should be made immediately available to develop new treatments, vaccines, and cures to save lives and reduce suffering in the response to COVID-19.” The letter urges the president to “consider the potential of fetal tissue research to accelerate an end [to] the pandemic, reduce human suffering, and enable the U.S. to respond to future public health threats.”

    The Department of Health and Human Services recently accepted nominations to the Human Fetal Tissue Ethics Advisory Board, one component required by the 2019 policy for the evaluation of extramural research grants proposing to use human fetal tissue [see Washington Highlights, Feb. 21].