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Opinion
The Editors

Don’t Stand in the Way of Fetal Tissue Research

The Trump administration is obstructing work that benefits everybody.

Needs further study.

Needs further study.

Photographer: BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images

Researchers have been working with fetal tissue in the U.S. for some 80 years, to the enormous benefit of medical science. They’ve observed, for instance, how the youngest human cells develop into muscle, brain and other tissues. They’ve injected fetal cells into mice to make them humanlike enough for drug-testing. They’ve grown fetal cell lines to produce vaccines against any number of viruses.

It’s no wonder that scientists insist on the freedom to conduct such work, that Congress has deliberately legalized it, and that every year the National Institutes of Health funds a good share of it. But the Trump administration is unimpressed, and has decided to throw obstacles in the way.