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WASHINGTON, D.C., June 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has approved 70 new embryonic stem cell lines for use in projects eligible for federally funded research.

The new cell lines, which come from human embryos created and destroyed in a laboratory, were approved by the NIH last month. The new cell lines come from the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Israel. 

Despite President Donald Trump’s many pro-life accomplishments, pro-lifers have expressed concern about NIH director Francis Collins, an Obama appointee who has defended research using tissue from aborted babies. In 2018, the March for Life and Live Action called for Collins to be ousted.

Collins’ replacement should be “someone who recognizes that children who are killed by abortion should be mourned, not experimented on,” Live Action President Lila Rose said at the time.

President George W. Bush’s administration banned public funding of research involving the creation of new stem cell lines through the destruction of new human embryos. In other words, he stopped taxpayer funding of the creation of new human beings in laboratories whose sole purpose for being created was so they could then be destroyed for research. 

During Bush’s presidency private funding of such research was not prohibited, and research using existing stem cell lines was permitted to continue. 

But in 2009, shortly after he first assumed office, via executive order, President Barack Obama reversed Bush’s ban on public funding for research involving new stem cell lines created through the destruction of new human embryos.

Last year the Trump administration removed funding from some projects using human fetal tissue from aborted babies. The administration also instituted a policy which had the effect of making it more difficult for projects which use fetal tissue from aborted babies to receive federal funding. However, federal funding applications for projects using embryonic stem cells or embryonic cell lines were not impacted and the policy specifically excluded them in its definition of research involving human fetal tissue.

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