The central issue of the Bush administration's moratorium on fetal tissue research (Marcia Clemmitt, The Scientist, July 20, 1992, page 1) is whether the use of fetal tissue from elective abortions will encourage women to have an abortion they might not otherwise undergo. Explaining his recent veto of a bill permitting the use of fetal tissue, Bush said the bill "is inconsistent with our nation's deeply held beliefs."

In 1987, the National Institutes of Health spent more than $11 million on fetal tissue research and continues to spend millions on nontherapeutic research using tissue obtained legally from either spontaneous or elective abortions, according to the "Report of the NIH Ad Hoc Panel on Human Fetal Tissue Research," submitted Dec. 14, 1988, to the NIH director's advisory committee. If, as Bush claims, the issue is an ethical and philosophical one, why does his administration permit, even encourage, research using tissue from...

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