WASHINGTON, Mar. 21, 2001 ( – A federal regulation prepared as President Bill Clinton left office and delayed by President George W. Bush would redefine the terms “fetus” and “child” and allow the legal use of newborns for scientific research. Cybercast News Service reports that the regulation states that a newborn is still considered a “fetus” until it is determined the baby will live by “independently maintaining a heartbeat and respiration” at which point it can be referred to as a “child.”

The delay on the regulation expired March 19, however pro-life legislators demanded it be postponed for another 60 days. In their letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, pro-life Reps. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), Chris Smith (R-N.J.), James Barcia (R-Mich.) and Joseph Pitts (R-Pa.) wrote: “If this rule is allowed to proceed, the position of the federal Department of Health and Human Services with regard to ‘human research subjects’ will be that babies born alive are not necessarily children.”

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