I noticed a lot of “hooray!” type posts on social media yesterday in reference to a news story touting that the federal government (referenced instead as “The Trump Administration” because that gets more clicks from BOTH sides) banned fetal tissue research. Pro-birth individuals (who call themselves pro-life and yet still haven’t bothered to recognize the importance of life after the baby is born) saw this as a major victory because of the states banning abortion after eight weeks.
Clearly, No One Read the Article
It is clear to me as a professional researcher, writer, editor, and opinionated midwest-maven that very few people bothered to read the article. The right side: Hooray! More babies saved! (By the way, most women getting an abortion don’t know that fetal tissue is often used for research; additionally, that’s not the only way fetal tissue is gathered to do said research). The left: How dare Trump! Now we’ll have no more medical breakthroughs!
The thing is that the left is closer to the truth in their jumping the gun (except I’d change “Trump” to “federal government”) although most average left-leaning citizens didn’t bother to read the article to see how scary it really is. And I think that the right would have been just as terrified if anything similar happened under a liberal administration (and they should be terrified now).
Fetal Research Will Still Be Allowed When Research Is Funded by the Federal Government
I do not go out of my way to be an alarmist. Had people bothered to click through and read the article, they’d know that fetal research is still allowed at universities funded by the federal government. In short? Research of this nature (which helps study certain terminal illnesses, including Parkinson’s) is now ripped away from the public sector and is the sole property and right of the federal government.
Let me explain something to you about research. There’s an interesting Adam Ruins Everything episode related to science and research that is more amusing and explains this, but my version won’t take you 30 minutes to get to the ultimate point:
Research grants are provided when a grantor thinks they can get results that will support their agenda. There is no research money or much interest (although there should be) in retesting positive and possible cures. You really need to ask yourself why the federal government needs to be the only entity allowed to fund and conduct fetal tissue research.
Your cures are now in the hands of the federal government. I hope this eventually gets tossed, but it’s where we are currently sitting. And that should terrify you. If you don’t like socialism, this should be grave cause for concern. If you like socialism and hate the federal government, this should still give you grave cause for concern.
The federal government should never ever be the only entity allowed to perform research. Because much like the various reports from various administrations (and bills and laws: we have to pass it to know what’s in it; here’s the Mueller Report with everything but 12 sentences redacted), there is zero transparency.