On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced they were discontinuing the use of fetal tissue procured from elective abortions.

HHS said in a released statement after canceling a contract between Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. and the Food and Drug Administration that provided human fetal tissue from elective abortions they launched a comprehensive review and audit of all HHS research utilizing fetal tissue from elective abortions.

As a result of this review, HHS said that a contract with the University of California, San Francisco that received 90-day extensions during the audit was allowed to expire. They also said that research conducted by the National Institutes of Health utilizing fetal tissue from elective abortions would be discontinued.

“Promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President Trump’s administration. The audit and review helped inform the policy process that led to the administration’s decision to let the contract with UCSF expire and to discontinue intramural research – research conducted within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – involving the use of human fetal tissue from elective abortion. Intramural research that requires new acquisition of fetal tissue from elective abortions will not be conducted,” the department statement read.

HHS said it would undertake changes to its regulations and NIH grants policy to adopt or strengthen safeguards and program integrity requirements applicable for external research funded by the department involving human fetal tissue.

Pro-life organizations lauded the news.

“Today’s decision by HHS to no longer allow the use of fetal tissue in internal research reflects the goal of President Trump and his administration to promote respect for all human life. As HHS continues to advocate the use of alternatives to fetal tissue research and review future requests regarding the use of fetal tissue in external research, we know that this president and his administration will continue to do all that they can to ensure protection for the most vulnerable members of society,” National Right to Life President Carol Tobias said.

“The protection and care of human life by physicians and researchers must exist at all stages life from conception to natural death. Today’s decision by the Trump administration is another clear example of the administration’s consistent protection of human life, regardless of location or age,” said Dr. Donna Harrison, President of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said. “The scientific reality is that a new human being is present in the womb of a pregnant mother.”

“This is a major pro-life victory and we thank President Trump for taking decisive action. It is outrageous and disgusting that we have been complicit, through our taxpayer dollars, in the experimentation using baby body parts. NIH has spent $120 million a year on grisly, unethical experiments involving the hearts, livers, bones, and brains harvested from babies too young and vulnerable to speak for themselves,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “President Trump knows we can do better as a nation and we are encouraged to see NIH Director Francis Collins carry out the President’s pro-life commitment. Taxpayer funding is better spent promoting alternatives that are already being used in the production of treatments, vaccines and medicines and to expand approaches that do not depend on the destruction of unborn children often through late-term abortion.”

“Today’s move demonstrates NIH’s investment in scientifically-proven methods for research: adult stem cells, iPS cells, organoids, humanized mice constructed using postnatally sourced cells and improved non-human cell lines—just to name a few. All of these have been used in the production of treatments, vaccines and medicines currently on the market; the key is that our government will now invest in effective research methods that do not rely on the destruction of human life,” Dr. David Prentice, vice president and research director at Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), SBA List’s research arm, added.

“Since taking office over two years ago, President Trump and his administration have been gradually and effectively instilling a greater respect for all life, especially the unborn, across the entire executive branch, and this decision is the latest example,” Terry Schilling, executive director of American Principles Project, said.

“With this policy change, HHS has taken a significant step toward reorienting its research in a more ethical direction — ensuring that this work is not undertaken at the cost of unborn lives. Moreover, given that not a single cure has been developed from fetal tissue, this decision is a practical and pro-science one as well,” he added.

“It is very encouraging that the Trump administration continues to unveil the unethical and immoral profit that is being made from aborted baby parts,” Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, said. “Every human life is precious and should not be sacrificed as an experiment.  These despicable acts by organizations and companies underscore why our client Sandra Merritt should be applauded for revealing the seedy underbelly of Planned Parenthood,”

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