April 10, 2020
Attorney General Sean D. Reyes has signed on to a letter, sent this week to President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other top federal officials supporting the administration’s current ban on federal funding for fetal tissue research. The letter is co-signed by the attorneys general of 18 other states.
Last month, a California-led coalition of 15 other attorneys general called upon President Trump to end the ban in order to facilitate studies they claimed could lead to new methods of fighting the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The U.S. Supreme Court has previously affirmed Indiana’s contention that states have a legitimate interest in enforcing the respectful handling of fetal remains (Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana & Kentucky).
Advocates for fresh fetal tissue research say it could produce medical breakthroughs in such areas as developing vaccines, but Attorney General Reyes noted that such claims are mostly unsupported by scientific evidence.
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill originated the letter.
“We urge the Trump administration to stand by its priority of promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death even in this global health crisis,” Attorney General Hill said. “In order to make advances in the ethical treatment of human remains, this nation must reject the false notion that scientists cannot achieve the laudable goal of creating vaccines and treatment for COVID-19 without using unethical means.”
Read Attorney General Hill’s letter to the Trump administration here.