Trump administration swayed by GOP think tank on abortion, LGBT decisions, group says

Sandhya Raman, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

A separate American Oversight FOIA response of HHS officials' resumes found that Noronha is a member of Women Speak for Themselves -- a group of abortion opponents formed in opposition to the health law's contraception mandate.

"As a special adviser at the OCR, Noronha is in a position to make her narrow beliefs policy," the report says.

Other HHS staffers and former Heritage aides include Maximos Nikitas, Judy Stecker and Laura Trueman.

Charmaine Yoest, a top HHS communications official who also served at the White House, was hired by Heritage last month as a vice president.


Funding for fetal tissue research was thrust into the spotlight last year over concerns about whether this method of research -- which uses tissue that can be sourced from abortions -- is necessary. Proponents call it essential to researching vaccines and finding possible cures to diseases, while abortion critics disagree.


Last August, Heritage officials recommended in a blog post the end of a fetal tissue contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources, a company that supplied fetal tissue for research purposes to the Food and Drug Administration.

Six weeks after the blog post was published, FDA canceled a $15,900 contract with the supplier over concerns about how the tissue was procured.

HHS is currently investigating whether to continue about $100 million in fetal tissue grant research through the National Institutes of Health.

In November, Heritage hosted an event promoting alternatives to fetal tissue research with two speakers, Tara Sander Lee and David Prentice, from a prominent anti-abortion research organization. Two weeks later, Congress held a hearing on the same subject with the same witnesses invited by House Republicans.


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