Politics & Policy

Trump Administration Cuts Funding for Fetal-Tissue Research

President Donald Trump speaks in Washington, D.C., May 15, 2019. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

The Trump administration on Wednesday announced major cuts to funding for research using fetal material procured from abortions and said government scientists at the National Institutes of Health will now be prohibited from performing such research, which cost the government $13 million last year.

The Department of Health and Human Services said it will cancel a $2 million annual contract for fetal-tissue research with the University of California, San Francisco that began in 2013. About 200 other such contracts for fetal-tissue research involving more than $100 million in NIH grants to universities will continue for now, but they will be evaluated by a new ethics committee when they are up for renewal, the department said.

“Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President Trump’s administration,” HHS said in a statement, adding that “research [at NIH] that requires new acquisition of fetal tissue from elective abortions will not be conducted.”

The announcement prompted an outcry from supporters of the research, who said slashing funding would “devastate” important scientific projects.

“It will affect everything from cures for cancer and H.I.V. through to Parkinson’s and dementia,” said Georgetown University professor Lawrence Gostin, who focuses on public-health law. “The ban on fetal-tissue research is akin to a ban on hope for millions of Americans suffering from life-threatening and debilitating diseases. It will also severely impact the National Institutes of Health, universities, and other researchers, who will lose key funding for their laboratories and their vital work.”

Meanwhile, pro-life groups celebrated the move as a win for the American public as well as the unborn.

“This is a major pro-life victory,” said Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser.

“Most Americans do not want their tax dollars creating a marketplace for aborted baby body parts which are then implanted into mice and used for experimentation,” March for Life president Jeanne Mancini remarked. “This type of research involves the gross violation of basic human rights and certainly the government has no business funding it.”

The department said in November it is looking at potential ways to phase out all funding for fetal-tissue research in favor of alternatives that do not use such tissue. In September, a group of 45 state and national pro-life leaders signed a letterto HHS Secretary Alex Azar petitioning for an end to the research as well.

Most Popular


Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review


Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More

Democrats Think They Can Win without You

A  few days ago, Ericka Anderson, an old friend of National Review, popped up in the pages of the New York Times lamenting that “the Democratic presidential field neglects abundant pools of potential Democrat converts, leaving persuadable audiences — like independents and Trump-averse, anti-abortion ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More