Sen. Lee, Colleagues Urge HHS to Expand Ethical Sources of Fetal Tissue

March 26, 2021

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Friday led 15 of his colleagues in sending a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) requesting that the agency evaluate its ability to expand the existing organ donation network to include preterm and stillborn infant donors, so as to provide an ethical alternative to aborted fetal tissue. Under no circumstance should scientific research and experimentation use cells or tissues derived from abortion.   

The letter reads in part:

“Respecting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is critically important and this action would be a significant step toward protecting human life at all stages. If a consistent, high-quality, and ethically uncontroversial source of human fetal tissue exists, medical research would undoubtedly expand, advancing our nation’s understanding of human development and leading to potentially life-saving discoveries.”

Cosigners of the letter include: Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and James Risch (R-Idaho).

Supporting groups include March for Life Action, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Family Research Council.

“There are important scientific and medical research questions that are best addressed through the use of human fetal tissue.  Providing an ethical and uncontroversial source of donated human tissue for research would accelerate the pace of discovery.”

- Dr. Maureen L. Condic, University of Utah, School of Medicine

Read the full letter text here.