By Katelyn Burns
The anti-choice movement’s ongoing war on fetal tissue research moved to the halls of the U.S. Congress on Thursday as lawmakers held a congressional committee hearing seeking input on potential fetal tissue alternatives for use in medical and scientific research.
The hearing, held by two House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittees, was chaired by anti-choice Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) who also chairs the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus. Three witnesses presented testimony on potential alternatives to fetal tissue research, including two people with ties to the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the “research” arm of anti-choice group Susan B. Anthony List.
Democrats on the committee focused on the effect fetal tissue research has had on modern medical breakthroughs. “For more than 80 years, scientists have relied upon the unique qualities of fetal tissue cells, which are able to adapt to new environments in ways that adult cells are not, to make life-saving advances in modern medicine and fight diseases that ravage communities around the world,” said ranking member Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) in his opening statement. “Fetal tissue research has helped contribute to vaccines for polio, chicken pox, rubella, and shingles, medical achievements responsible for saving thousands of lives.”
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