President Trump has demonstrated a clear disinterest in protecting the health of the American people. He began his administration with an attempt to end Obamacare, and when that effort failed, he started gutting the healthcare program, putting countless people at risk.
Now, the president is planning to cut much-needed funding for programs researching to find cures for diseases. The administration is considering a plan that would cut $100 million in funding that supports medical research intended to develop new vaccines and treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Larry Goldstein is the director of UC San Diego’s stem cell program. Goldstein said, “It will slow some projects down that are vital for sick Americans.” The proposal from the Department of Health and Human Services would end any National Institutes of Health research that uses fetal tissue.
Modern medical research requires the use of fetal tissue for progress. It was because of fetal tissue that researchers were able to develop vaccines for polio and measles. More recently, fetal tissue is being used in research to find a vaccine for HIV/AIDS and influenza. It is also being used to find cures for diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS and others.
Fetal tissue used in research is obtained after miscarriage or legal abortion. The practice of using fetal tissue is strictly regulated. If the tissue were not being used for medical research, it would be thrown away.
Many on the far right of the abortion debate have long targeted the use of fetal tissue for medical research. Those same extreme anti-abortion advocates also support a ban on birth control and all fertility treatments.
The extreme anti-abortion movement uses their own pseudo-experts to confuse the policy discussion. President Trump, likely taking the advice of Vice President Mike Pence, seems to be making policy decisions based on extremist views that stand to risk the lives of countless Americans.