President Reagan, warned that the use of fetal tissue in medical research might lead to the "harvesting" of parts from living unborn and newborn infants, asked health officials Friday to work up an executive order he may use to halt the process.

Reagan, releasing the second Office of Policy Development "Report to the president on the family," also sent directives to his various Cabinet chiefs asking them to either set recommendations in motion on dozens of family matters, or draft options on issues raised by the study.One directive, to the Health and Human Services Department, focused on the question of the use of fetal tissues in research, a field that has recently emerged as one of the most promising in medicine.

Fitzwater confirmed that a White House official had requested an executive order that would ban all research involving tissue from aborted fetuses. But he said at this time it "represents a very first cut; it does not represent administration policy or a presidential decision."