The White House press secretary said on Tuesday that President Biden “respectfully disagrees” with Catholic bishops on federally-funded fetal tissue research.
At Tuesday’s White House press briefing, EWTN News Nightly’s Owen Jensen asked press secretary Jen Psaki about the Biden administration’s recent decision to remove restrictions on federally-funded fetal tissue research.
“As you well know, the administration just lifted the ban on researchers using fetal tissue from elective abortions,” Jensen said. He cited a statement of the U.S. bishops’ conference that the decision to lift the ban and allow for taxpayer-funded research with aborted fetal tissue was “deeply offensive.”
“Look, I think the White House respectfully disagrees,” Psaki said in response. “And we believe that it’s important to invest in science and look for opportunities to cure diseases, and I think that’s what this is hopeful to do.”
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on April 16 that it was reversing restrictions on research using fetal tissue and organs of aborted babies.
By repealing Trump-era policies, NIH would once again allow for fetal tissue research at NIH facilities. Furthermore, it said it would no longer require researchers at outside facilities seeking federal funding to first submit fetal tissue research proposals to a federal ethics advisory board.
Certain other restrictions, such as informed consent requirements and prohibitions on the unlawful sale of fetal tissue, remain in effect.
In 2019, the Trump administration had declared a moratorium on fetal tissue research at NIH facilities; it also set up a federal ethics advisory board to review federally-funded fetal tissue research proposals at outside facilities.
In response, the USCCB’s pro-life chair on April 19 condemned the decision.
“The bodies of children killed by abortion deserve the same respect as that of any other person. Our government has no right to treat innocent abortion victims as a commodity that can be scavenged for body parts to be used in research,” stated Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas.
“It is unethical to promote and subsidize research that can lead to legitimizing the violence of abortion,” Archbishop Naumann stated. “It is also deeply offensive to millions of Americans for our tax dollars to be used for research that collaborates with an industry built on the taking of innocent lives.”