Vitals Reporting on the pro-life movement

Inside the FDA’s research with aborted baby body parts

Abortion | New revelation shows government involvement in sketchy fetal tissue practices
by Samantha Gobba
Posted 8/13/18, 04:02 pm

Taxpayers have been funding government research using tissue from aborted babies for years, according to a new report, and pro-life groups are calling for the practice to halt.

CNS News broke the story last week that the Food and Drug Administration signed a contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) to provide “human fetal tissue” to make “chimeric animals that have a human immune system.” FDA contracts with ABR date back to 2012.

“It’s horrifying news because we hope that our FDA and our federal government are going to be doing ethical research and not contributing to the trafficking of baby body parts and abortions,” David Prentice, vice president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a pro-life research group, told me. “There are actually ethical alternatives to make these humanized mice. You don’t have to use aborted fetal tissue to do this anymore.”

The FDA uses humanized mice to test the safety of medications. Giving mice a human immune system is fine, Prentice said, but he emphasized how easy it is to get the necessary human tissue without aborting a baby. Adult stem cells from bone marrow or cells from umbilical cord blood, along with thymus tissue routinely taken during cardiac surgery on newborns, are just as effective.

The FDA denied any wrongdoing and in a statement claimed that ABR assured the agency “they are in compliance with all applicable legal requirements.” But videos released in 2015 by undercover journalist David Daleiden showed a Planned Parenthood executive and an ABR procurement manager discussing the profits they made from aborted babies’ tissue.

“By custom-ordering late-term aborted baby body parts for sale from Planned Parenthood partners like ABR, the FDA is directly complicit in these abortions and implies that these kids are worth more to the U.S. government dead than alive,” Daleidan said in a statement.

So long as it is not for “valuable consideration,” using taxpayer funds to buy human fetal tissue for research is legal under a 1993 statute.

“It was at a time even before embryonic stem cells where they thought fetal tissue would be the big answer for treating a lot of diseases,” Prentice said. “It didn’t turn out to be the case at all, but that statute is still on the books. … We would hope that Congress would correct that and make it illegal to use aborted fetal tissue and to use taxpayer funds.”

He and other pro-life advocates are not only condemning FDA use of aborted baby parts for research but also starting to work toward new rules that ban the practice.

Cathy Ruse, the Family Research Council’s senior fellow for legal studies, pointed to the labor bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would bar the Department of Health and Human Services from using tax dollars on fetal tissue obtained from aborted babies.

“We agree with that restriction and do not believe that HHS and the FDA should approve research of this kind,” Ruse said in a statement. “Americans demand to have a more ethical government—one that does not traffic in the remains of human beings.”

Should the bill pass but have some funding loophole that still allows the FDA to continue this research, pro-lifers could target the agency’s own rules governing its contracts.

Associated Press/Photo by Jorge Saenz Associated Press/Photo by Jorge Saenz A pro-life demonstrator holds a model of an unborn baby June 13 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Argentina sustains pro-life protections

Pro-lifers across Argentina celebrated in the streets Wednesday at the news that the nation’s Senate narrowly avoided legalizing abortion through the first 14 weeks of gestation. Lawmakers voted 38-31 to reject a bill previously passed by the lower house of Congress.

March for Life posted video on social media showing pro-lifers clapping, hugging, jumping up and down, and waving flags with the movement’s signature color, baby blue. Abortion supporters rioted in the streets, throwing fire bombs and setting up flaming barricades against law enforcement.

Paula Avila-Guillen, director of the Women’s Equality Center, said the vote “will not stop the movement” to legalize abortion. “We will be there at the next legislative opportunity,” she said.

Students for Life international programs director Ally Bowlin applauded the vote.

“Argentina made the right decision in voting against expanding abortion in the country and voting to remain a pro-life country,” she said. “In the United States, we have seen the effects of abortion on women, men, and families, and we strongly support all countries that realize the disastrous effects of abortion.” —S.G.

Facebook Facebook Roger Foley

Offered euthanasia but not quality care

Ontario resident Roger Foley has filed suit against his hospital, health agencies, and the attorneys general of Ontario and Canada after doctors denied his choice of an assisted-living team and offered him euthanasia.

Foley has a neurological disorder that has taken away his ability to move his arms and legs and limited his speaking. But instead of helping him live comfortably, his government-funded home care team gave him such poor care he ended up in a hospital.

“I have been given the wrong medications, I have been provided food where I got food poisoning, I’ve had workers fall asleep in my living room, burners and appliances constantly left on, a fire, and I have been injured during exercises and transfers,” he said.

The hospital then told him he had to leave and accept the care of a government-selected team or accept euthanasia, he said.

Michael Bach, director of the Institute for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society, called Foley’s case profoundly disturbing.

“It makes absolutely clear that the safeguards are not in the system,” he said.

Meanwhile, legalized euthanasia in Canada has ended the lives of at least 3,714 people since the law allowing it took effect in 2016, according to the latest interim government report. That figure does not include euthanasia deaths in Quebec, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, which do not report their numbers. —S.G.

Grisly crimes

Generally, I avoid reporting stories involving crimes against newborns. But the stories last week piled so high they became worth a mention:

  • Virginia resident Vanessa Danielle Poteat pleaded guilty Wednesday to drowning her newborn in the tub just after giving birth to him in 2014. She faces up to 21 years in prison.
  • North Dakota resident Ginny Lubitz pleaded not guilty last week to drowning her newborn after he was born in May. Friends found the baby facedown in water, and an autopsy showed “an apparent live birth” and death by drowning.
  • A Brooklyn, N.Y., teen abandoned her dead child on Tuesday in the toilet of an American Airlines aircraft that had landed at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. It remains to be seen whether the crime was against a newborn or an unborn baby. A member of a cleaning crew found the baby after the girl disembarked from a flight that originated in Jamaica. Sources told the New York Post the 18-year-old might have undergone a botched abortion in the island nation. —S.G.

Generous donation

National Football League player Benjamin Watson replaced Maryland’s Severna Park Pregnancy Clinic’s failing ultrasound machine with a brand new 3D and 4D machine this summer. The clinic receives calls from about 7,000 women a year, LifeNews reported. Many of them are calling for a price quote on abortion, and the Annapolis clinic staff helps them see their babies before making up their minds. Watson played tight end for the Baltimore Ravens the last two seasons and is now with the New Orleans Saints. —S.G.

Samantha Gobba

Samantha reports on the pro-life movement for WORLD Digital.

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