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Department of Health and Human Services. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Health and Human Services said Monday it cancelled a contract between Advanced Bioscience Resources and the Food and Drug Administration that supplied fetal tissue for research, due to uncertainty that the contract used appropriate protections and followed procurement policy.

The big picture: HHS also says that it’s reviewing "all research involving fetal tissue" and vowed to consider "the serious regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved."

Background: Fetal tissue is mostly collected from elective abortions and can be used for research into vaccines, Zika, and genetic diseases. 

Why now? CNN reports that the FDA said in June it plans to purchase about $16,000 of "human fetal tissue" for tests to understand how humans may respond to medications.

  • This prompted backlash from Republicans, who urged the FDA earlier this month in a letter to cancel the contract.

Meanwhile, some scientists have expressed concern over interrupted research. Per STAT, Alta Charo, a University of Wisconsin bioethics professor who has testified before Congress on this topic before, says:

“The use of fetal tissue is important or even necessary for some kinds of work.”

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate will now work through votes on a series of amendments that are expected to last overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.