A Des Moines Register editorial attacked pro-life legislators this week for proposing a bill to stop the trafficking of aborted babies’ body parts in Iowa.
Iowa House Study Bill 621 would ban the sale, donation and transfer of fetal tissue in the state, according to The Gazette. A state House committee approved it Tuesday in a 12-9 party-line vote, the report states.
Legislators introduced the bill in response to the horrific undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress showing Planned Parenthood employees selling aborted babies’ body parts, according to the report.
State Rep. Joel Fry, R-Osceola, said the bill will ensure that “there is no monetary gain for someone to abort their child.”
Though some legislators argued that the bill also could apply to unborn babies who are miscarried, Fry said that was not the case. He said the bill differentiates between “predetermined death” and “natural death,” according to the report.
On Thursday, the Des Moines paper published the editorial “Abortion bill is anti-science” and slammed pro-life legislators who supported it:
Though clearly an anti-abortion stunt, the legislation would prevent fetal tissue from being used by researchers seeking treatments and cures for diseases. Violators — who would likely be none other than medical providers and scientists — could land in the slammer for up to 10 years.
There is no exception in the bill for the University of Iowa, known nationally as a research institution. Rep. Linda Miller, R-Bettendorf, who supports the legislation, said she had recently visited UI and talked with people engaged in research for eye disease. The proposed ban “was not of any concern to them,” she said.
That is difficult to believe.
Rep. Miller said she believes embryonic stem cells, for example, represent the “history” of research. “I don’t think it’s the future of research.”
Really? How about we leave that to scientists, not politicians, to decide? Because it sure seems the cells extracted from fetal tissue are important in work seeking to treat and cure debilitating diseases.
However, an op-ed in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel last September backed up what the University of Iowa researchers told Miller. In the op-ed, six doctors explained why using fetal “tissue” for research is unethical and unnecessary for scientists.
“The argument that fetal-derived tissues must be used in research to develop medical treatments is false,” they wrote. “Many therapies have been developed using cell lines not of fetal origin, including insulin for diabetes (produced in bacteria), Herceptin for breast cancer and tissue plasminogen activator for heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism (both developed in Chinese hamster ovary cells).”
The Des Moines editorial began by referencing how fetal tissue was used to develop the life-saving polio vaccine and claimed that the new Iowa bill could hinder future life-saving advancements.
But doctors in the Wisconsin editorial refused this example: “Even though the often-cited polio vaccine was developed using fetal tissue cells, the developers of the vaccine later testified that initial studies were also successful using cells that were not of fetal origin. Therefore, it is misleading to suggest that important medical advances would not have been possible without using cells of fetal origin.”
The Des Moines editorial failed to notice pro-life lawmakers’ key concern in the bill – the killing of innocent human beings, and chose to attack pro-life leaders instead.
The editorial read: “Like many legal surgeries, an abortion produces tissue. That tissue can either be discarded or made available to scientists engaged in medical research. A truly ‘pro-life’ lawmaker would support the latter.”
By referring to “tissue,” the editorial misses the entire point of pro-lifers’ reasons for the ban. Fetal tissue that comes from abortion clinics is procured by killing an innocent unborn baby. That baby is not merely “tissue.” The babies’ whose body parts have been harvested by Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses are valuable human beings who deserved a right to life. Pro-life lawmakers introduced the ban because they believe aborted babies deserve to be treated with the same dignity as other human beings, even after death.