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NIH Director: Fetal Tissue Research Can Be ‘Ethical’

Michael Foust | Contributor | Wednesday, December 19, 2018
NIH Director: Fetal Tissue Research Can Be ‘Ethical’

NIH Director: Fetal Tissue Research Can Be ‘Ethical’

Two prominent pro-life groups are calling for the removal of National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins following comments he made in support of government-funded fetal tissue research. 

Collins said in a magazine last week “there is strong evidence that scientific benefits can come from fetal tissue research, which can be done with an ethical framework,” according to Politico. He also said he was hoping to “assure the skeptics” during an ongoing review process.

Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, said Tuesday Collins “must be replaced with someone who recognizes that children who are killed by abortion should be mourned, not experimented on.”

“Experimenting on the bodies of babies killed by abortion is never ethical, but only adds to
the victimization of these innocent children,” she said. “...Abortion is a barbaric and horrific human rights violation. It is unconscionable that taxpayers are forced to fund the gruesome baby body parts trade and that our tax dollars have been used to create demand for aborted children's parts.”

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini agreed, saying “Collins’ actions are inconsistent with the pro-life policies of this administration. It is time for his departure.”

Other pro-life groups, though, stopped short of calling for his removal. 

“Francis Collins’ remarks ... put him at odds with HHS and the whole Trump Administration in the audit process and begs the question of whether anything can truly change while he’s in charge at NIH,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List. “We urge HHS to correct his comments, which are dramatically out of step both with President Trump and the pro-life voters who elected him.”

Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog,

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Neilson Barnard/Staff

NIH Director: Fetal Tissue Research Can Be ‘Ethical’