STAT – A House subcommittee’s draft 2018 spending plan would prohibit federal funds from being spent on research that uses fetal tissue, a symbolic win for conservatives who are also taking aim at money for family planning and public health programs around the country.
The proposal from the House Appropriations health subcommittee is unlikely to be enacted, and the restriction would impact a tiny portion of the National Institutes of Health’s roughly $33 billion budget — in 2016, the agency spent roughly $103 million on research involving fetal tissue.
But the subcommittee’s plan underlines continued opposition among some Republican lawmakers to the use of federal funds for fetal tissue research.
“The ethical use of fetal tissue is aiding scientists in exploring the fundamental causes of and potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, birth defects, blindness, spinal cord injuries, stroke, and ALS,” Darrell G. Kirch, the president of the Association of American Medical Colleges wrote in a statement, calling the restrictions “arbitrary.”
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