Will the Government Fund Creating “Humanized Mice” With Tissue From Aborted Babies?

Bioethics   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Dec 6, 2017   |   12:24PM   |   Washington, DC

For years, taxpayers have been funding research using tissue from aborted babies through the National Institute of Health.

And it’s time for Congress to stop the unethical practice, Terence P. Jeffrey of CNS News wrote this week.

“The fundamental issue is plain: By spending tax dollars on research that requires tissue taken from aborted babies, the federal government is creating a demand for tissue from aborted babies,” Jeffrey wrote.

The troubling practice has been going on for years, and the NIH has spent millions of tax dollars to support it.

CNS reports more:

According to an online chart published by NIH that estimates its spending by “various research, condition, and disease categories,” the agency spent $67 million on human fetal tissue research in fiscal 2013; $76 million in fiscal 2014; $80 million in fiscal 2015; $103 million in fiscal 2016; and $107 million in fiscal 2017. (The chart does not indicate how much went to research involving the humanized mouse as opposed to other types of research using fetal tissue.)

In 2015, a Center for Medical Progress video revealed how some aborted baby remains sold by Planned Parenthood go to biotech companies for the purpose of creating “humanized” mice. These experiments involve injecting mice with human fetal tissue.

Scientists conducted one such experiment at the University of Rochester where they injected mice with glial cells from human fetuses’ brains. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin also conducted experiments on mice using tissue from aborted babies’ livers and thymus. Reports indicate Colorado State University also conducted research using aborted baby body parts, with the support of taxpayers’ dollars.

In 2015, LifeNews also reported how the Obama administration gave thousands of tax dollars to pay for intact aborted babies’ brains used in research at the University of Connecticut. The study involved comparing brain tissue between humans and mice to find a cure for schizophrenia and autism.

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These are just a few examples. Melissa Farrell, director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, revealed in an undercover video that a number of researchers were using aborted babies’ tissue from Planned Parenthood to generate humanized mice for immune-deficiency experimentation and the development of pharmaceuticals.

What remains to be seen is whether federal lawmakers will continue allowing taxpayer dollars to be spent to support this unethical research. A number of states already have done so, prompted by the undercover investigation by the Center for Medical Progress.

According to CNS, the initial U.S. House appropriations bill for 2018 prohibited funds from being used to “conduct or support research using human fetal tissue if such tissue is obtained pursuant to an induced abortion.” However, the bill did not pass the U.S. Senate.

“The question now: In the ultimate appropriations bill it passes for fiscal 2018, will the Republican Congress fund research that creates a demand for tissue from aborted babies? Or will they end it?” Jeffrey concluded.

It’s a good question that deserves an answer.