The turning of a deer hit science hard – The Durango Herald

Now is the open season for fundamental rights, now that the Supreme Court has overturned Rowe v. Wade and other notable abortion cases, although more than 60 percent of Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

For those who support this decision, we do not hear them welcome the decision from a constitutional position. Instead, it is based on religious and moral beliefs. We have been praying and lobbying for this for 50 years, they say. As countries struggle to regulate or eliminate abortion, we see more consequences coming.

In essence, the Supreme Court’s decision is detrimental to science.

The vast world of medical research, procedures and the development of critical drugs and vaccines will be severely affected. This advanced work relies on human fetal tissue.

Fetal tissue derived from elective abortions is uniquely adaptive and valuable to medical researchers. Tissue is crucial for understanding normal fetal development and research into neurological and infectious diseases, including HIV, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and COVID-19. Common vaccines, such as chickenpox, rubella and shingles, have been developed using human fetal tissue.

Lawrence Goldstein, a prominent professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, told NPR that because fetal cells are not fully developed, they are useful, for example, in the development of replacement organs.

“If you’re trying to make a kidney out of stem cells, you’d like to know that as the cells begin to follow the path of kidney development, they do so normally,” Goldstein said. “Comparing to early fetal kidney cells, what you do usually tells you whether you’re on the right track or not.”

In 2021, the Biden administration lifted restrictions on fetal tissue research introduced by former President Trump in 2019. In the throes of the pandemic, Trump essentially ended extremely worthy research projects that had already gone through many levels of scientific and ethical research. reviews.

In March 2020, research institutions and medical foundations called on the Trump administration to lift restrictions to allow COVID-19 research. We can only guess how many lives could have been saved, schools open, and businesses and economies thriving if researchers had the opportunity to do the work directly in front of them. The World Health Organization estimates that “the number of global deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 alone is at least 3 million.”

Once the restrictions were lifted, the U.S. National Institutes of Health no longer had to adhere to either a ban on research or an ethical review by conservative board members who oppose abortion. Proponents of human fetal tissue research argue that this endeavor is morally separate from abortion.

The long-standing required ethical processes were already in place before the Trump administration ordered this advice. The board has become a place where applications for federal funding go to die. Board members obstructed work for religious and moral reasons.

Conservative judges acted in the same way. The dissenting opinion (from Judges Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor) makes it clear: The majority “makes radical change too easy and too fast, based on nothing more than the new views of the new judges. The majority rejected Rowe and Casey for one and only reason: because they have always despised them, and now they have the vote to reject them. In this way, the majority replaces the rule of law rule by judges.

Giving a subject in human experience or a patient a drug that has already been tested on human tissue in a Petri dish is less likely to cause harm. This is also socially responsible for the greater good.

The consequences of Rowe’s turning against Wade will continue to creep into our lives. The heavy blow to research is just one of them.

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