Due to work and influence from pro-life and conservative figures, the Trump administration has created uncertainty around the future of HIV research.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a contract with the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). The school’s work relies on using fetal tissue for research into diseases like AIDS and Parkinson’s.
Now, however, the future of this research is uncertain due to pro-life advocates against research using fetal tissue.
According to the Washington Post, the contract between NIH and UCSF typically follows a year renewal with $2 million in funding. The researcher who runs the UCSF lab, however, said the lab received only a 90-day contract.
She was also told the money would be cut entirely.
A ‘pro-life administration’
Since taking office, anti-abortion activists have been vocal in asking Trump and his administration to ban research involving fetal tissue.
Several lawmakers reportedly targeted UCSF specifically, asking Trump to cut their funding.
Numerous drugs aimed at treating and preventing HIV have been tested as UCSF. Their research is done via incubating human T cells in mice, and NIH has supplied all the funding.
The tissue comes from elective abortions and many scientists and researchers say there are no other alternative approaches to this research at this time.
The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) of the federal government has also reportedly been holding meetings discussing the government’s stance on supporting research involving fetal tissue.
They have met with people such as patient advocates, scientific societies, ethicists, and abortion opponents.
‘This is a pro-life, pro-science administration,’ HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir told Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).
HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley said future funding remains uncertain as the administration assesses its stance on fetal tissue research.
‘No final decision has been made.’