Senate Votes to Unblock Use of Fetal Tissue From Abortions
The Senate voted 85 to 12 Thursday to lift a government ban on the use of aborted fetuses in disease research, setting the stage for an expected veto by President Bush.
The same measure passed the House last week on a 260-148 vote, which, unlike the Senate tally, is short of the two-thirds necessary to override the veto.
Its supporters said fetal tissue holds the promise of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and spinal cord injuries.
The Bush Administration contends that lifting the ban would encourage abortions. It has proposed permitting research with tissue from miscarriages and tubal pregnancies but not induced abortions, and establishing a program to collect and preserve that tissue.
Critics say the Administration’s restrictions would prevent researchers from obtaining adequate, usable tissue under the $3-million tissue bank planned by Bush.
The provision removing the Administration’s ban on publicly supported research with fetal tissue is a part of a broader bill authorizing $5.4 billion next year for the National Institutes of Health, the principal medical research agency of the federal government.