Pro-life groups are criticizing National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins after saying research using fetal tissue will continue to be a staple of the organization’s research.
Fetal tissue research “will continue to be a mainstay,” Collins told the NIH Advisory Committee on Dec. 13, Science Magazine reported.
“There is strong evidence that scientific benefits come from fetal tissue research, [which] can be done with [an] ethical framework,” he said.
“Collins’ actions are inconsistent with the pro-life policies of this administration and with the consensus of Americans who oppose entangling taxpayer dollars with abortion,” March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said in a Tuesday statement.
Collins’s remarks “put him at odds with HHS and the whole Trump Administration,” Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser also said in a statement.
“There is absolutely no moral or ethical justification for treating these children like commodities to be chopped up and sold piece-by-piece to anyone — especially the federal government with taxpayers footing the bill,” Dannenfelser said.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is auditing federal purchases of fetal tissue, Collins said, according to Science Magazine. (RELATED: Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers Might Get Title X Family Planning Funds. Here’s How)
“[Collins’s] advocacy for using aborted baby parts in research is more reflective of the previous administration rather than the Trump administration, which has consistently advanced the sanctity of human life,” Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins said in a statement.
FRC is a public policy organization dedicated to advancing faith, family and freedom, according to its Twitter.
“The fact is aborted baby parts haven’t been used to treat any person of a single disease. However, tax dollars are contributing to an industry that fosters the trafficking of body parts from aborted children,” Perkins added.
Live Action president Lila Rose also called for Collins to step down.
“Director Collins must be replaced with someone who recognizes that children who are killed by abortion should be mourned, not experimented on,” Rose said in a Tuesday statement.
Live Action is a “media movement dedicated to building a culture of life and ending abortion.”
NIH will spend up to $20 million on fetal tissue research alternatives, according to Collins.
The Daily Caller News Foundation requested a comment from NIH, and a DHS spokeswoman responded.
“We are a pro-life, pro-science Administration. This means that we understand and appreciate that medical research and the testing of new medical treatments using fetal tissue raises inherent moral and ethical issues,” according to the statement. “This also means that we place a high value on the work NIH does in creating new discoveries that result in cures and improved quality of life. Secretary Azar directed the review, which we are approaching with the utmost seriousness and concern.”
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