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Nadler Statement in Support of Fetal Tissue Research Amendment

Washington, June 13, 2019

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued the following statement following passage of Congressman Mark Pocan's (D-WI) amendment to H.R. 2740 in support of fetal tissue research. Rep. Nadler cosponsored the amendment, which will block the Trump Administration’s policy announced this month to stop fetal tissue research: 

"I was proud to cosponsor the Pocan Amendment to stop the dangerous and unscientific efforts by the Trump Administration to effectively end life-saving medical research conducted with fetal tissue. This decision is not rooted in science or logic. It is not about ethics or morals. It is pure politics designed to score points with the Administration’s anti-choice friends at the expense of millions of sick Americans.

"Putting additional barriers in the place of fetal tissue research would have an immediate and profound impact on public health in this country. Already, research conducted with fetal tissue is governed by a legal and regulatory framework set up by Congress in 1993. Any research proposal already goes through ethics advisory boards to review ethical, moral, and scientific considerations. The research is also governed by strict oversight and rigorous, detailed rules for informed consent and disclosure from physicians and researchers. 

"Even with this additional oversight and review, scientists continue to use fetal tissue because it is the gold standard in medical research. Fetal tissue research was instrumental in developing vaccines against polio, chickenpox, measles, and other illnesses and is currently used in research to identify treatments for ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injuries. Fetal tissue was also instrumental in developing medication to stop the spread of HIV.

"That is why the entire scientific community came out against the Trump Administration’s new policy and supported this amendment – because this policy represents the same unscientific nonsense we have been hearing from this Administration for the last two years (and, quite frankly, from my Republican colleagues in the House for far longer). Rather than listening to the scientific community’s clear message that fetal tissue research is life-saving, vital, and irreplaceable, the Trump Administration is only listening to its own moral arrogance in determining what is right for scientists and women.

"I applaud my colleagues for joining me in passing this amendment and ensuring that research in this country is funded based on science, not political games."

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