In DepthSCIENCE AND POLITICS

Abortion opponents dominate Trump's fetal tissue review board

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Science  07 Aug 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6504, pp. 610
DOI: 10.1126/science.369.6504.610

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Summary

Fourteen months ago, the Trump administration clamped down on federally funded fetal tissue research by requiring that such projects go through an ethics review by a new advisory board. On 31 July, that new board's composition was revealed as it met online to review a crop of project proposals. A Science analysis finds that at least 10 of the 15 board members have spoken publicly against abortion, fetal tissue research, or both. Although one prominent bioethicist slammed the board as "stacked" against fetal tissue research, a spokesperson for an antiabortion group described its makeup as "properly balanced." The board's recommendations on the projects must be reported to two congressional committees and to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar by 18 August. Azar will have the final word.

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