The Association of Biotechnology Companies last week urgedPresident Bush to sign legislation that includes federal fundingof fetal tissue research for medical purposes.

The National Institutes of Health reauthorization bill, H.R. 2507,would nullify a ban put in place in November 1989 by Healthand Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan on the use offederal funds for research involving fetal tissue.

In the letter to Bush, Thomas Wiggans, president of the ABCwrote, "We believe the current ban on research on fetal tissueis blocking the discovery and development of vital drugs andbiologicals that will save lives and relieve human suffering."

The ABC said the bill would require written informed consentfrom women donating the tissue and documentation from theirphysicians that consent for donation was obtained after consentfor abortion. It would also prohibit the sale of human fetaltissue.

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.