Recently, 85 members of Congress, along with a number of pro-life groups, have sent letters to the federal government in opposition of the FDA’s purchase of freshly aborted fetal remains for the purpose of research.
An emailed press release notes that Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), and Congressman Mark Walker (R-N.C.), along with 82 other members of Congress, are urging FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to put an end to the contract the FDA has with Advanced Bioscience Resources, a fetal tissue procurement company that was referred for criminal investigation by the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives following a lengthy investigation into the illegal trafficking of aborted fetal body parts. The FDA is reportedly paying $15,900 to ABR for “fresh human fetal tissue” used by researchers to make mice with human immune systems.
The legislators’ letter to the FDA states, in part:
ABR plainly admitted to Congress that it obtained tissue by collecting human fetal remains from abortion clinics, paying $60 per “single aborted fetus” — and then upsetting the child’s body parts separately to researchers at fees of $325 per “specimen” — brain, eyes, liver, thymus, and lungs….
In light of the serious unresolved questions uncovered by the investigative work of both the House and Senate panels, we are alarmed that the FDA has continued to award contracts to ABR for the procurement of human fetal tissue. Unborn children are not commodities to be bought and sold. The practice of conducting research using the body parts of children whose lives have been violently ended by abortion is abhorrent. We urge you to cancel this contract immediately and utilize alternative, modern scientific techniques that do not contribute to the trafficking in baby body parts….
At the same time, approximately 45 pro-life leaders, including Live Action president Lila Rose, have sent an open letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, urging the government to “find ethical alternatives as soon as possible, and should end all association with those who participate in any trafficking or procurement of aborted baby organs.”
The letter states, “It is completely unacceptable to discover that the FDA is using federal tax dollars and fomenting demand for human body parts taken from babies who are aborted,” adding that “experiments using aborted fetal organs are neither responsible nor do they meet even modest ethical standards….”
The letter also notes that there are far too many unanswered questions with regard to obtaining the fetal remains requested by the FDA, and calls the research “irresponsible” because alternatives exist:
… there is no scientific requirement of aborted fetal tissue to construct humanized mice. Historically, humanized mice were constructed using aborted fetal organs such as fetal liver, fetal bone marrow, and fetal thymus, on the theory that young fetal tissue would be more robust in growth. But good scientific alternatives exist to this grisly sourcing, including use of human umbilical cord blood stem cells and adult peripheral blood stem cells. There are abundant modern scientific alternatives, making aborted fetal tissue unnecessary.