Nebraska Use of Fetal Tissue From Abortions in Research on Shaky Ground

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 22, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Nebraska Use of Fetal Tissue From Abortions in Research on Shaky Ground Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 22, 2004

Omaha, NE ( — The University of Nebraska Medical Center has conducted fetal tissue research, using tissue from aborted babies since 1993. But the recent elections of new members to the Board of Regents furthers a move by pro-life advocates to prohibit the college from engaging in the destructive research.

Newly-elected regent Dave Hergert will join the Board in January, giving pro-life advocates three votes on the eight member panel.

That stands in strong contrast to the position of the regents in 1999 when the public was first exposed to information revealing the use of tissue from aborted babies. Then, the board voted unanimously to oppose restricting the research.

Regent Charles Wilson of Lincoln supports the research. He told the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper that it would take five votes to overturn the college’s use of the tissue, but that those votes could materialize with further elections.

"My sense is there aren’t five votes now. But as (the board) continues to evolve, yes, it’s possible they’ll get five votes to ban it," he told the newspaper.

Nebraska Right to Life has campaigned for the last several years to add pro-life advocates to the board of regents to change the university’s policy. The three new pro-life regents were added after extensive campaigning by the pro-life group.

"Regents can’t sit in an ivory tower any longer and say they don’t want to deal with the issue," Nebraska Right to Life Julie Schmit-Albin told the Journal Star newspaper. "It’s here. It’s now. They’re all going to have to deal with it."

Half of the regents are up for re-election in 2006 and Schmit-Albin says her group is already focused on getting candidates lined up to oppose those regents who back using the tissue from abortions.

Regent Drew Miller of Papillion, one of the most outspoken regents in favor of the research, says he will not run for re-election in 2006.

Related web sites:
Nebraska Right to Life –