700 University of Wisconsin Faculty Defend Buying Body Parts From Aborted Babies for Research

State   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Aug 26, 2015   |   4:51PM   |   Madison, WI

In July, Reps. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) and Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) introduced legislation that would ban the sale of fetal body parts in the state of Wisconsin and not allow federal funding to go toward Planned Parenthood. The LaCrosse Tribune reported that the legislation was a response to the scandal surrounding Planned Parenthood buying the body parts of aborted babies.

Now, nearly 700 faculty members from University of Wisconsin have signed a letter arguing that the bill would cut off “hope for patients” and deter biomedical students and the biotechnology industry from coming to their University because it shows “that Wisconsin is no place to do business.”

The letter says, “We wonder whether legislators have considered the ethical implications of denying current and future patients the benefits of the research that would be blocked by this legislation. Research done with cell lines derived from fetal tissue has benefited millions in the form of vaccines and treatments for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, heart disease, and viral and bacterial infections.”

Then, the letter alleges that prohibiting research on aborted babies’ body parts would “ risk untold numbers of lives” because they use it to find critical vaccines. The faculty explained, “The cell lines derived from fetal tissue are commonly used for research in laboratories worldwide. Other tissues and cells, such as those derived from miscarriages cannot be substituted for this research, despite the claims of the proponents of this ban.”

However, the truth is using aborted babies for medical research is unethically and hasn’t had much success compared to other forms of research. The Federalist reports that even though fetal tissue research receives $76 million in taxpayer funding, scientists are moving on to other methods because they believe it will produce better results.

The associate professor of bioethics at Case Western Reserve University, Insoo Hyun, explained, “Despite the long history of using fetal tissue in medicine and research, the practice could be on the way out. Even though it has led to important medical advances in the last several decades, ‘in the future, the need for fetal tissue will go down because of advances in stem cell [technology] that will take over.”

As LifeNews previously reported, earlier this month, the Dean of the University of Wisconsin’s health school defended the school’s decision to buy aborted baby body parts for research and said banning their negotiations would negatively impact the work of medical researchers. Right Wisconsin reports that Dr. Robert Golden is the Dean of the University’s School of Medicine and Public Health. At a hearing on the bill, Rep. Joel Kleefisch asked, “What would happen to your research if women quit having abortions?” Dr. Golden replied, “It would have a substantial negative impact on our capacity to do the life saving research that we are doing.”

According to a 2012 report, Dr. Shannon C. Kenney of UW’s McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research used human fetal livers and thymus tissue from Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) for some of the University’s latest research. The report explains, “Human fetal thymus and liver tissue of gestational ages 17 weeks to 20 weeks were obtained from Advanced Bioscience Resource…. The recipient mice…[were] implanted with fetal thymus and liver fragments under the recipient kidney capsule after irradiation.”

The report was published in the Journal of Virology and titled, “An EBV Mutant with Enhanced BZLF1 Expression Causes Lymphomas with Abortive Lytic EBV Infection in Humanized Mouse Model.” Apparently, after the body parts from aborted babies are obtained, their “tissue” is injected into mice for research purposes. In a 2013 study, Kenney and her team did not report that they obtained the aborted babies from ABR; however, she did say they came from “unspecified cadaverous sources.”


That report said, “Human fetal thymus and autologous liver tissues of 14 to 20 weeks of gestational age were obtained from cadaverous sources and processed and stored in X-vivo 15 serum-free culture medium (Lonza Biosciences, Allendale, New Jersey). Thymus and liver tissues were cut into fragments (each approximately 1 mm), and 1 fragment each of thymus and of liver tissue were surgically implanted next to each other under the capsule of the left kidney. Immediately after this surgery, the mice were given an intravenous (ocular) injection of purified human CD34 HSCs…that were obtained from the same fetal liver tissue used for surgical engraftment.”

The information regarding the University of Wisconsin using aborted babies in research follows on the heels of reports showing another publicly funded university, Colorado State University (CSU), using them. On January 10, 2013, CSU purchased fetal body parts from Planned Parenthood’s flagship abortion facility in San Jose, California via a company called StemExpress.  In total, nine specimens were harvested from eight different aborted babies killed in abortions, and the purchase order reveals CSU bought two body parts, including an aborted baby’s liver.