President-elect Donald Trump announced Rep. Tom Price [R-GA] for HHS Secretary. Price has voted ‘no’ on stem cell issues in the past. Read More.
President-elect Donald J. Trump will step into office in January 2017 and many are wondering if he will take the typical Republican stance on stem cell research that involves using embryonic stem cells or fetal tissue.
Trump is unlike any Republican President to take office before him, but it is still unclear whether he will take a stand similar to the one President Reagan made in 1980, when The Gipper decided not to renew the Ethics Advisory Board’s charter, which effectively put a halt to embryonic stem cell research.
Similarly, in August 2001, President George W. Bush prohibited the federal funding of any research using stem cell lines derived after August 9, 2001. This was later reversed by President Barack Obama in 2009.
Although Trump has not taken an official stance on stem cell research, but has vowed to cancel every order, memorandum, or executive action made by President Obama that he deems to be unconstitutional, which might include Obama’s first executive order in office that loosened the restrictions made by President George W. Bush, titled Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells.
To determine if the Trump Administration will support stem cell research, we must first look at the views of future Vice President-elect Pence, as this may influence any decision Trump decides to make.
In his own words, Pence wrote an op-ed in 2009 responding to Obama’s decision and said “I am a Christian who believes that life begins at conception and that a human embryo is human life…Therefore, I believe it is morally wrong to create human life to destroy it for research. Not only that, I believe it is morally wrong to take the tax dollars of millions of pro-life Americans, who believe that life is sacred, and use it to fund the destruction of human embryos for research.”
Unfortunately, the fate of scientific research in the U.S. may rely more on the sentiments of mainstream Republicans, such as VP Pence, who will dominate Congress, and not so much on Trump, despite the fact that the U.S. is expected to represent the largest stem cell market in North America and doing so could be a boon for the economy and the future of science.