DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable Janice D. Schakowsky
Sent By:
Osaremen.Okolo@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)
Cosponsors: Reps. Carson, DeGette,* DelBene,* Frankel,* Huffman,* Nadler,* Norton, Speier,* Watson Coleman*
Supporting organizations (39): AIDS Action Baltimore; AIDS Foundation of Chicago; AIDS United; Alliance for Aging Research; American Academy of Pediatrics; American Association
of Colleges of Pharmacy; American Society for Reproductive Medicine; American Society of Hematology; American Thoracic Society; Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology; Association of American Medical Colleges; Cascade AIDS Project (Portland,
Oregon); Coalition for the Life Sciences; Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; Endocrine Society; GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality; HealthHIV; HIV Medicine Association; Housing Works; Infectious Diseases Society of America; International
Society for Stem Cell Research; Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health; Medical Students for Choice; The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research; NASTAD; National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research; National Multiple Sclerosis Society; National Women’s
Health Network; Northwestern University; PCD Foundation; Research!America; Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine; Society of Family Planning; Treatment Action Group; Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance; University of California San Francisco; University of California
system; University of Washington; University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Dear Colleague:

Americans are facing a devastating global health crisis. Though we should be dedicating all our available resources to prevent and treat COVID-19, the Trump Administration’s

restrictions on fetal tissue research
have stripped us of one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal and sidelined some of our most productive and promising scientists.
We invite you to cosponsor the Protecting Cures Act of 2020 (H.R. 6417) to remove these restrictions and protect all biomedical research moving forward.

The use of fetal tissue in biomedical research has been legal for over 40 years, and has been federally funded by presidential administrations from both parties. Numerous federal panels and reviews have evaluated human fetal tissue research and have concluded
it is critical for lifesaving biomedical research. Scientists use new tools like adult stem cells when they can, but fetal tissue has unique and valuable properties that cannot be replaced with alternatives. In fact, in 2018, Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D., Department
of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health and the current coordinator of federal COVID-19 testing efforts, acknowledged that the use of
fetal tissue remains the gold standard in biomedical research.

The Trump Administration’s new restrictions are life-threatening as they have halted promising research into conditions and diseases that affect millions of Americans. Vaccines for polio, hepatitis A, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox and rabies exist
because of research using fetal tissue, which would otherwise be discarded. This same research also generated powerful new advances against life-threatening viruses like HIV/AIDS and Zika, and has the potential to make a real difference against coronavirus.

However, government and university research laboratories have been
unable to conduct research
on possible treatments for COVID-19 and some promising scientists have left the United States altogether, citing the current Administration’s hostility toward lifesaving research using fetal tissue. One scientist said, “‘When
I hear the vice president saying [they’re] doing everything they can to find vaccines [and treatments], I know that is not true’…‘Anything we do at this point could save hundreds of thousands of lives. If you wait, it’s too late.’”

We urge you to support this legislation to protect cures and prevent any ideological barriers to the scientific work needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic and dozens of other debilitating diseases. For more information or to sign on, contact Osaremen Okolo
(Osaremen.okolo@mail.house.gov) in Congresswoman Schakowsky’s office or Leslie Zelenko in Congressman Pocan’s office (Leslie.Zelenko@mail.house.gov).

Sincerely,

JAN SCHAKOWSKY

Member of Congress

MARK POCAN

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Foreign Affairs, Government, HealthCare, Science

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: H.R.
Bill Type: 6417
Special Note:

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