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The Trump administration eliminated funding for fetal tissue medical research by government scientists on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The decision is considered a win for anti-abortion rights supporters and a major blow to scientists who rely on the tissue from elective abortions for research into diseases like cancer, HIV and Zika, the Washington Post reports.

The administration also revoked a multimillion-dollar contract for a University of California at San Francisco lab that uses the tissue to test HIV treatments, per the Post.

  • UCSF's multiyear government contract was terminated on Wednesday without further detail.

Context: The debate over the federal use of fetal tissue — obtained from abortions — got off the ground in 2015, when an anti-abortion rights group released videos alleging Planned Parenthood profited from selling the material. Planned Parenthood claimed the footage had been doctored to mislead, and after several state and congressional inquiries, the health care provider was cleared of misconduct.

  • Trump’s health department conducted a several-month audit of fetal tissue research "in light of the serious regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved,” per the Department of Health and Human Services.

Editor's note: This article was corrected to reflect that the audit of fetal tissue research was conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services (not funded by the National Institutes of Health).

Go deeper

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. (Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images)

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.

Trump gives farewell address: "We did what we came here to do"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump gave a farewell video address on Tuesday, saying that his administration "did what we came here to do — and so much more."

Why it matters, via Axios' Alayna Treene: The address is very different from the Trump we've seen in his final weeks as president — one who has refused to accept his loss, who peddled conspiracy theories that fueled the attack on the Capitol, and who is boycotting his successor's inauguration.