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White House: Biden ‘respectfully disagrees’ with bishops on fetal tissue research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on April 16 that it was reversing restrictions on research using fetal tissue and organs of aborted babies.

(Image: Tabrez Syed/

Washington D.C., Apr 27, 2021 / 16:00 pm (CNA).

The White House press secretary said on Tuesday that President Biden “respectfully disagrees” with Catholic bishops on federally-funded fetal tissue research.

At Tuesday’s White House press briefing, EWTN News Nightly’s Owen Jensen asked press secretary Jen Psaki about the Biden administration’s recent decision to remove restrictions on federally-funded fetal tissue research.

“As you well know, the administration just lifted the ban on researchers using fetal tissue from elective abortions,” Jensen said. He cited a statement of the U.S. bishops’ conference that the decision to lift the ban and allow for taxpayer-funded research with aborted fetal tissue was “deeply offensive.”

“Look, I think the White House respectfully disagrees,” Psaki said in response. “And we believe that it’s important to invest in science and look for opportunities to cure diseases, and I think that’s what this is hopeful to do.”

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on April 16 that it was reversing restrictions on research using fetal tissue and organs of aborted babies.

By repealing Trump-era policies, NIH would once again allow for fetal tissue research at NIH facilities. Furthermore, it said it would no longer require researchers at outside facilities seeking federal funding to first submit fetal tissue research proposals to a federal ethics advisory board.

Certain other restrictions, such as informed consent requirements and prohibitions on the unlawful sale of fetal tissue, remain in effect.

In 2019, the Trump administration had declared a moratorium on fetal tissue research at NIH facilities; it also set up a federal ethics advisory board to review federally-funded fetal tissue research proposals at outside facilities.

In response, the USCCB’s pro-life chair on April 19 condemned the decision.

“The bodies of children killed by abortion deserve the same respect as that of any other person. Our government has no right to treat innocent abortion victims as a commodity that can be scavenged for body parts to be used in research,” stated Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas.

“It is unethical to promote and subsidize research that can lead to legitimizing the violence of abortion,” Archbishop Naumann stated. “It is also deeply offensive to millions of Americans for our tax dollars to be used for research that collaborates with an industry built on the taking of innocent lives.”

At Tuesday’s press briefing, Jensen also asked about the next U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

“I don’t have any personnel announcements to make,” she said of a new Vatican ambassador, calling the position “important” and promising that “we will have more in the coming months.”

Jensen also asked about a lawsuit against the Department of Education by current and former students of Christian colleges claiming LGBTQ discrimination.

“The LGBTQ community is suing the U.S. Department of Education. They say the religious exemption rule under Title IX is unconstitutional,” Jensen asked, seeking the White House response.

The lawsuit, filed March 29 in a federal district court, alleged that the Education Department unlawfully granted Title IX religious exemptions to Christian schools in cases of sex discrimination. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 forbids sex discrimination in federally-funded education activities; it includes an exemption for religious institutions.

The students filing the lawsuit said they were exposed to “conversion therapy, expulsion, denial of housing and healthcare, sexual and physical abuse and harassment” at the colleges. They said they suffered “institutionalized shame, fear, anxiety and loneliness” at the Christian schools, but could not file a successful Title IX claim due to the schools’ religious exemptions to Title IX.

On Tuesday, Psaki said she would “have to check with our legal team in general” about the case.

“Generally speaking, we support LGBTQ rights, and believe that, especially for children, and children should be able to play sports, including children and members of the LGBTQ community of course,” she said.

The Department of Education recently reversed its stance on a case in Connecticut where female athletes challenged the state’s transgender athletics policy. Four female high school runners had challenged the state’s policy of allowing biological males identifying as transgender females to participate in women’s sports. The Trump administration ruled that the policy violated Title IX. The Biden administration withdrew that finding in February.

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  1. If Jesus Christ appeared in the Rose Garden and reminded people that He was “the way and the truth and the life”, the Biden administration would “respectfully disagree”.

    • If Jesus Christ appeared in the Rose Garden, he better be wearing a mask and he would clearly be labeled a right wing extremist and escorted off the White House grounds for speaking the truth.

    • How could bishops excommunicate Biden, when a good number of them voted for him? What did Cardinal Tobin say? “Biden is a man of character.” And Cardinal Gregory? “This is a president we can have a conversation with.”

  2. Before cancel-culture euphemisms were invented, this from William Brennan (The Abortion Holocaust: Today’s Final Solution, Landmark Press, 1983, Chart 6, and pp. 100-102): a partial rundown on the unedited reality of the abortion culture:

    “What should we do with this garbage” (Treblinka, 1942) and “an aborted baby is just garbage” (fetal researcher Dr. Martti Kekomaki, 1980);

    “I know of not a single case where anyone came out of the chambers alive” (Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Hoess on the destructive capacity of Zyklon B gas, 1947) and “It never ever results in live births” (an experienced abortionist on the merits of dissection and extraction, 1981);

    “the subjects were forced to undergo death-dealing experiments ‘without receiving anesthetics’” (Dachau freezing experiments, 1942) and “the fetuses are fully alive when we cut their heads off, but anesthetics are definitely unnecessary” (Kekomaki, 1980);

    “no criticism was raised” (conference of German physicians to the Ravenbrueck death camp sulfanilamide experiments, Berlin, May 1943) and “no one ever raised an eyebrow” (meeting of American pediatricians to an experiment involving beheading of aborted babies, San Francisco, 1973);

    In Mein Kampf (1925) Adolf Hitler referred to Jews as “a parasite in the body of other peoples;” fifty years later, the year of Roe v. Wade, a radical feminist group branded the unborn as “a parasite within the mother’s body” (an early edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves: A Book By and For Women).

    And, today, wannabe-pope Biden euphemizes that we “invest in science,” and “respectfully disagrees” with Pope Francis who clarifies that abortion is “like hiring a hitman” (May 25, 2019).

  3. We are living in a nightmare that we cannot wake from…this Biden/Harris Administration comes up with things to torment us on a daily basis.

  4. Pope John Paul II said something to the effect that a society that does not protect its youngest, or most vulnerable citizens, will not endure.

  5. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1753) states, “A good intention (for example, that of helping one’s neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just. The end does not justify the means.” There is nothing respectful in this decision. First, we kill babies; then, we use their little bodies for the benefit of medical research. The first is abhorrent. The second is equally abhorrent. No wonder Chairman Joe is pushing the Covid-19 vaccines so stridently. Their use plays right into this hand. Millions of Americans have taken advantage of vaccines that used fetal tissue from abortions either in research, testing, production or all three. It sure seems hypocritical to then protest the vaccine, doesn’t it? Other companies are working on vaccines without any connection to abortion, although I’ve read that Sorrento may have stopped working on their vaccine because of the availability of the others. I unapologetically reject any vaccine with a connection, no matter how remote, to abortion. I think the bishops were negligent in telling people that the vaccines were moral despite their “remote” connection to fetal tissue from abortion, because acceptance leads to more of the same (see above “respectfully disagree” article).

  6. It never ceases to amaze me that our former president, a protestant, defended life, while our current one, a Catholic does not. Given the lack of response by the hierarchy with any “teeth” in it, he continues to get away with portraying himself as “a good Catholic.”

  7. Biden’s personalism here understood as the meaning our intellect confers rather than receives in perception of reality goes back to his defense of abortion following Roe 1973. He and the Lion of the Senate [Ed Kennedy] were all in, but it was Biden who quoted Aquinas on the floor of the senate regarding the presence of a soul, which Aquinas thought appeared after an interval following conception. Catholicism teaches that human life begins at conception and created in God’s image is of sacred consequence. Justice is as Biden sees it regardless of Catholic bishops or Apostolic Tradition. He argues his vision of justice is consistent with Pope Francis [that is arbitrary because the Pontiff hasn’t declared abortion a good, although the body of Francis’ theology capsulized in Amoris lends to hardship exception]. What’s lost in all personalistic thought, today modernism is God, the one who determines good and evil. What is so precious about our faith in Christ as the Son of God is as Saint Hilary teaches on the Trinity is that the Word’s assuming human flesh in Christ incorporates us in him, who himself is present to the Father the Father in him. Consumption of the flesh and blood of Christ is the primary means of this unity with Father Son and Holy Spirit in which Father and Son are present within the Mystical Body. Human Life is forever of sacred value in this incorporation realized fully in the baptized nonetheless extending to all Mankind.

  8. And the bishops as a whole seem content to respectfully disagree with him on abortion while noting how much they dig his immigration, environmental and welfare policies. He has no respect for them. Why should he?

  9. This is an abomination against human dignity. I don’t want to live in a nation who’s Supreme Leader thinks this is morally acceptable much less force me to have to pay for it. I ask sometimes for the Lord to shows us an Exodus from this land of evil that we might live according to his will but the problem is I don’t think there is any English speaking land left anymore willing to put God before selfishness and I tell myself that I cannot fight this monster called Progress alone…’And makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others we know not of, thus consciences make cowards of us all’. Every day it just seems like the despair gets deeper – I wish the Church could show some courage and at least excommunicate this friend of the Dragon.

  10. Biden is not a priest nor a member of the hierarchy of the church. As such, his comments are meaningless and his “respectfully disagreeing” means nothing. Certainly it does not justify anything he has said to the press. He clearly does not believe or obey catholic teaching and should be called out by someone in authority for using his supposed Catholic membership to simply pander for votes. He should be barred from Communion for giving public scandal and church authorities with some backbone should act to do so. Then they should take a look at Catholics who vote for people of this ilk and talk some turkey about THEIR responsibility as Catholics. .

  11. Unfortunately respectful disagreement with the Ten Commandments will not end well for Mr. Biden. It will not end well for those charged with the care of his immortal soul.

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