On Tuesday, two reports were issued in the United States that affect the government's policies on abortion. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) responded to both in two separate statements on Thursday. Both were written by Kansas City, Kansas, Archbishop Joseph Naumann in his capacity as Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
Ethics of using fetal tissue
In one statement Archbishop Naumann commended the Trump administration after the National Institutes of Health Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board issued its report.
This report was issued on Tuesday and contains responses to 14 research proposals on the topic of the ethics of human fetal tissue research. The 15-member board was established this past February by the Department of Health and Human Services. Each of the 14 proposals was voted on by the members of the board. The board’s members voted that funds be withheld in 13 of the 14 proposals.
Archbishop Naumann voices praise for the direction in which the NIH is moving. That direction, he says, is one that “shows greater consideration for medical ethics in research, and greater respect for innocent human life. It is neither ethical nor necessary to further violate the bodies of aborted babies by commodifying them for use in medical research. The victims of abortion deserve the same respect as every other human person. We are grateful that the Administration is following through on its commitment to end federal funding of research using aborted fetal tissue.”
US and foreign NGOs
In a separate statement also released on Thursday, Archbishop Naumann commended the Trump Administration for a successful implementation of the “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance” (PLGHA) policy.
In January 2017, President Trump reinstated the “Mexico City Policy” regarding U.S. international aid provided for family-planning assistance. It’s name was changed to the current Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy. The goal of the policy is that U.S. taxpayer money not be used to “support foreign non-governmental organizations that perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.”
Results regarding the policy’s implementation were released by the U.S. Department of State on Tuesday. 95% of NGOs are shown to be in compliance with the PLGHA.
Archbishop Naumann, on behalf of the US Bishops, praised the Trump Administration “for ensuring that U.S. global health assistance funding actually promotes health and human rights, and doesn’t undermine them by promoting abortion. Killing innocent and defenseless unborn children through abortion is not health care. Abortion violates an unborn child’s most basic human right, the right to life, and it also can wound the mother emotionally and physically. Americans recognize this injustice and an overwhelming majority of them oppose giving tax dollars to organizations that are more committed to promoting abortion than providing health services.”