Renewed battle over using fetal tissue in medical research

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers clashed over science, ethics and politics on Thursday at a House hearing on using fetal tissue in critically important medical research.

The Trump administration is reviewing whether taxpayer dollars are being properly used to fund for such studies. Research fields in which fetal tissue is used include HIV, childhood cancers and efforts to find a vaccine against the Zika virus, which causes birth defects.

Republicans said alternatives to fetal tissue are available and should be used instead. Democrats said that view is at odds with science. Each side called on expert witnesses.

The government has funded research using fetal tissue for decades, under administrations of both political parties.

The Trump administration’s new review has raised alarms among medical researchers, who fear their work will be stopped to satisfy anti-abortion activists.

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