Trump Restrictions on Fetal Tissue Research Deal a Blow to Medical Science

A new federal policy tied to anti-abortion politics will hamper potentially groundbreaking work

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar will determine funding for projects involving fetal tissue research under a new Trump administration policy. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty

“We use fetal tissue if we can obtain it. In reality, it’s the only way that we can validate whether our findings are real or not.”

Many abortion opponents, like Cunningham, say they are not opposed to all research uses of fetal tissue — just when it is obtained from elective abortions.

Fetal tissue, like this section of a human lung at 12 weeks gestation, is used to study a variety of medical conditions and diseases (BSIP / Getty)

Uses of fetal tissue

A ripple effect

“We have no idea what’s going to happen.”


Former staff writer at Medium, where I covered biotech, genetics, and Covid-19 for OneZero, Future Human, Elemental, and the Coronavirus Blog.