In August of 2016 the National Institutes of Health announced it wanted to use public funds for research to create human-animal hybrids or “chimeras.” The goal was to inject human stem cells into modified animal embryos in hopes of discovering new cures or “growing” human organs for transplant patients.
At the time the news sounded like nothing less than something out of a supermarket tabloid. Two years later, however, we’ve learned the Food and Drug Administration is apparently contracting with a group in California to inject mice with tissue obtained from aborted babies.
In June the FDA announced it was awarding a contract to Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc., “to acquire Tissue for Humanized Mice.”
The announcement went on to say “[Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc.] is the only company that can provide the human fetal tissue needed to continue the ongoing research being led by the FDA. Fresh human tissues are required for implantation into severely immune-compromised mice to create chimeric animals that have a human immune system.”
In other words, Advanced Bioscience Resources will be providing the FDA with fetal tissue that it can use in research — and the fetal tissue almost certainly is being harvested from aborted babies.
Fetal tissue used in research is obtained from elective abortions. Under certain rare circumstances, fetal tissue may also be obtained from a miscarriage, also called a spontaneous abortion, or following the removal of an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when an embryo has implanted outside the uterus. Because the timing or recognition of a spontaneous abortion or ectopic pregnancy is unpredictable, and both conditions may result in a serious health emergency for the woman, the fetal tissue collected under these circumstances is often not suitable for research purposes.
This is not the first time researchers have used organs and tissue harvested from aborted babies. For example:
- In 2012 PepsiCo came under fire for contracting with a company that used cell lines obtained from aborted babies in order to test food flavors.
- In 2015 undercover videos showed Planned Parenthood officials negotiating the sale of aborted fetal remains with investigators.
- Many common vaccines are manufactured using cell lines obtained from aborted babies.
- Some medical treatments involving “adult” stem cells actually use stem cells harvested from aborted children.
Not surprisingly, pro-life groups are calling on the FDA to terminate this latest contract for aborted fetal remains.
Cathy Ruse, Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Legal Studies, issued a statement saying,
“It is difficult to imagine anything more shocking or upsetting than the U.S. government soliciting bids from traffickers in the remains of infant victims of abortion. Every part of this transaction is a tragedy. A woman is driven to abort her baby, too often by coercion or abandonment, and there in the shadows is a government contractor waiting to tear apart the baby’s body to deliver pieces in exchange for payment.
“The House Appropriations Committee recently approved a Labor/HHS bill with a provision that restricts HHS from funding fetal tissue research using aborted babies. We agree with that restriction, and do not believe that HHS and the FDA should approve research of this kind. The FDA owes the American people an explanation as to how such a contract could have been approved. Americans demand to have a more ethical government—one that does not traffic in the remains of human beings,” concluded Ruse.
In a statement to LifeNews, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the “use of aborted babies’ body parts for gratuitous, unethical experiments is simply horrifying.”
Live Action Founder and President, Lila Rose, wrote,
The FDA’s purchasing of fetal tissue from aborted babies is immoral and horrific, violating human dignity and implicating the American taxpayer in the gruesome trade of human body parts. By issuing a contract to acquire human fetal tissue, the FDA is using American tax dollars to pay for human body parts that can only be acquired from aborted babies. These children deserved care and protection, but instead were violently stripped of their fundamental rights and are now being sold piecemeal. The company that the FDA is doing business with, Advanced Bio Resources (ABR), is currently under federal investigation for colluding with Planned Parenthood to sell aborted baby body parts for profit. We call on the FDA to terminate its contract with ABR immediately and cease the experimentation on the bodies of aborted children.
We agree. Buying and selling aborted fetal remains turns babies into commodities, and scientific research that costs unborn children their lives is simply unthinkable. Taxpayers should not have to subsidize such unethical research. The federal government needs to end this project right away.
This week Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key issued an annual memo to public school superintendents statewide reminding them that schools that receive federal funds cannot stop students from engaging in “constitutionally protected prayer in public schools.”
Public schools must file paperwork verifying that the school has no policy in place that would prevent students from praying at school.
While courts have ruled that teachers cannot lead students in prayer in the classroom, the Constitution and federal law generally protect students’ rights to pray, read scripture, and form religious groups or clubs on campus, provided that they do not disrupt school activities. Students also are free to talk about religion or their religious beliefs as part of a relevant class assignment or with their friends during lunch or other free times at school.
That is why Family Council supports activities like Bring Your Bible to School Day, and it’s why we have said students are free to talk about Jesus or their church if a teacher asks them to write a paper about what’s important to them.
Commissioner Key’s memo is a good reminder that students do not check their religious liberties at the door when they walk into a schoolhouse.
Our friends at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview released a commentary today highlighting recent events in Belgium.
Belgian doctors have euthanized at least three minors suffering from brain tumors, muscular dystrophy, and cystic fibrosis.
In January we shared news that euthanasia and assisted suicide are forcing hospice workers and other palliative care experts in Belgium to quit.
One Belgian doctor said, “palliative care units are . . . at risk of becoming ‘houses of euthanasia’, which is the opposite of what they were meant to be.”
As we have said time and time again, being pro-life is about much more than opposing abortion. We do not eliminate suffering by eliminating people who are suffering. We must respect the sanctity of human life at the end of life as well as at the beginning.