PA House Republicans say Pitt must stop fetal tissue research to receive tuition appropriations


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The Cathedral of Learning seen from Schenley Plaza.

By Allison Radziwon, Assistant News Editor

Pennsylvania House Republicans amended the state’s appropriation bill for state-related universities on Monday, saying Pitt must stop fetal tissue research in order to receive its $151 million appropriation from the state. The appropriation grants tuition discounts to in-state Pitt students and their families. 

The amendment passed in a 108-92 vote and said in order to recieve appropriation payments, Pitt “must not engage in research or experimentation” using fetal tissue from an elective abortion. This amendment comes after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which removed constitutional protections for abortions on Friday.

A Pitt spokesperson said Pitt uses all of the allocated money for a tuition discount for in-state students.

“The University of Pittsburgh devotes every dollar of the general support appropriation it receives from the state to help support a tuition discount for Pennsylvania students and families,” the spokesperson said. “We’re optimistic the legislature will preserve this investment in our students.”

Representative Austin Davis (D), who graduated from Pitt in 2012, described the House Republicans actions against the appropriation as “unacceptable” in a statement on Tuesday.

“It’s unacceptable — it’ll raise tuition and hurt families across PA who already struggle to afford higher ed,” Davis said.

A spokesperson for Governor Tom Wolf said Wolf “supports funding” for Pitt and other state-related universities—Penn State, Lincoln University and Temple University

“The amendments adopted on the floor jeopardize important funding that supports tuition assistance, education and research at a world-class university,” the spokesperson said.

The deadline for the budget is June 30, which must pass with a two-thirds majority in the House.