Research using the body parts of preborn babies who were victims of abortion at the University of New Mexico will end — at least, for now. After two internal investigations revealed that Dr. Robin Ohls was found to have violated UNM Health Sciences Center policy, the university announced that the program will cease. Ohls did not have proper documentation regarding her relationship with the Michigan-based Zietchick Research Institute, where she sent the body parts of aborted babies, nor for an internal review of her research project.
Dr. Paul Roth, the chancellor of the Heath Sciences Center, banned Ohls from ever “acquiring, transferring or performing research on fetal tissue” in a June memo. Another committee, the Human Tissue Oversight Committee, was even harsher on Ohls, saying she was “negligent and knowingly violated” school policy.
Ohls, however, called it a mere paperwork error, and claimed the penalty against her is too harsh. “I don’t think that what happened merits stopping fetal tissue research in our lab,” she said. Ohls was the only researcher using fetal tissue at the University of New Mexico. Her attorney has already said that she is considering filing a lawsuit against the school. She will be allowed to continue research at the university, as long as it does not involve fetal tissue, and will continue to treat patients as chief of the University of New Mexico’s neonatology department.
The body parts of preborn babies were obtained from abortions committed at Albuquerque’s Southwestern Women’s Options. Ohls was doing research on whole, intact brains from babies who were victims of late-term abortions, at the hands of abortionist Curtis Boyd. There were also suspicions that Ohls and Boyd were collaborating to break the law, as it was said that Ohls would receive the bodies of preborn babies completely intact. As second trimester abortion procedures typically involve dismembering the baby limb by limb, the way an intact body would have been possible is if Boyd were committing illegal partial-birth abortions. And even if this wasn’t the case, it is against federal law for an abortionist to change an abortion procedure to more readily collect fetal tissue.