Francis Collins spent millions of tax dollars on dubious research using body parts from aborted babies. He even defended it as “pro-life.” Today he finally resigned.
Collins, who was Joe Biden’s choice to head the National Institutes of Health, has long been a thorn in the side of the pro-life movement and ethical research. Collins has been in the role since 2009 when President Barack Obama appointed him. President Donald Trump kept Collins in the position despite concerns raised by several prominent pro-life groups.
But today Collins stepped down from the powerful position.
“It has been an incredible privilege to lead this great agency for more than a decade,” Collins said in a statement. “I love this agency and its people so deeply that the decision to step down was a difficult one, done in close counsel with my wife, Diane Baker, and my family.”
“I fundamentally believe, however, that no single person should serve in the position too long, and that it’s time to bring in a new scientists to lead the NIH into the future,” he continued.
“There comes a time where an institution like NIH really benefits from new vision, new leadership,” Collins said. “This was the right timing.”
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Under his tenure, NIH has doled out tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded grants to researchers who use aborted baby parts in their experiments.
In 2018, Collins defended the NIH using taxpayer funds to support unethical research involving aborted baby body parts. Some of these gristly experiments include a University of Pittsburgh research project that transplanted the scalps of aborted babies onto mice and rats to study the human immune system.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Collins implied that research using aborted baby parts may be pro-life.
“I do think that part of the argument has been missing a little bit in the fetal tissue debate: the sort of immediate assumption that if you’re in support of fetal tissue research that you must also think abortion is just fine,” he told the news outlet. “Even for people who are pro-life, who are troubled by abortion, the use of fetal tissue for research, since they are being derived anyway, if that is going to save a life someday, seems like a credible stance.”
To his credit, Trump issued executive orders to stop taxpayer funded research with aborted baby parts.
The Trump administration began to crack down on these grants in response to pro-lifers’ concerns. It canceled several contracts, including one involving “humanized mice,” and took other steps to stop funding unethical research, including through the formation of the new advisory board.
In August 2020, the bioethics advisory board recommended that the government reject grants for 13 research projects that plan to use aborted baby body parts. Trump appointed a number of leading pro-life researchers and bioethicists to the board last year.
The Trump administration also invested $20 million into promoting ethical alternatives to aborted baby parts in scientific research.
But Biden is expected to reverse this progress. Under the Obama administration, at least $77 million tax dollars were spent on research projects that used aborted baby body parts, and the Biden administration is expected to revert back to funding these unethical experiments.
Whoever Biden nominates to replace Collins will have to be approved by the Democrat-controlled Senate, and pro-life groups will undoubtedly thoroughly vet the nominee and ask questions about whether more research using body parts from aborted children will receive taxpayer funding.