In a new letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, 48 national and state pro-life leaders urged HHS to end the government’s use of aborted fetal tissue for research and turn to ethical alternatives.
The letter comes after shocking revelations indicating the Food and Drug Administration has signed a new contract to acquire body parts from aborted babies to be transplanted into so-called humanized mice. The grisly experiments allow mice to have a functioning human immune system for research purposes.
The letter reads, in part:
“We were shocked and dismayed at the news report that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has signed a contract to purchase ‘fresh’ aborted fetal organs from Advanced Bioscience Resources, for the purpose of creating humanized mice with human immune systems. We expect far better of our federal agencies – especially under the leadership of a courageous pro-life president – entrusted with the health of American citizens. It is completely unacceptable to discover that the FDA is using federal tax dollars and fomenting demand for human body parts taken from babies who are aborted. …The federal government must find ethical alternatives as soon as possible, and should end all association with those who participate in any trafficking or procurement of aborted baby organs. No taxpayer dollars should continue to go to this gruesome practice.”
Signers of the letter include SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser; Life Issues Institute President Bradley Mattes; Family Research Council President Tony Perkins; March for Life President Jeanne Mancini; Concerned Women for America President Penny Young Nance; Americans United for Life President Catherine Glenn Foster; Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins; David Daleiden, Project Lead for The Center for Medical Progress; and this writer.
“The objective is to acquire Tissue for Humanized Mice,” said a June 13 FDA “presolicitation notice” for the contract.
The contractor, the notice said, would “provide the human fetal tissue needed to continue the ongoing research being led by FDA.
“Fresh human tissues are required,” said the notice, “for implantation into severely immune-compromised mice to create chimeric animals that have a human immune system.”
According to GSA’s federal contract database, Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR), a non-profit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area, was awarded this $15,900 contract, which will run through July 25, 2019.
“Fetal tissue used in research is obtained from elective abortions,” says the Congressional Research Service.
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As CNS reported, the FDA is using federal tax dollars to create a demand for human body parts that must be taken from babies who are aborted.
Because it would not be able to create its “humanized mice” without fresh tissue taken from aborted babies, the FDA also has an interest in the continuation of legalized abortions at a stage in fetal development when the tissue needed to create these mice can be retrieved from the aborted baby.
While the FDA confirmed to CNSNews.com that its June 13 presolicitation notice for a contract to “acquire Tissue for Humanized Mice” and the July 25 contract it signed with ABR (as reported on the GSA contract database) refer to the same deal, the FDA declined to answer 17 other questions CNSNews.com asked it about that contract and the aborted baby parts it requires the contractor to provide. (See the full set of questions CNSNews.com sent to the FDA by clicking here.)
Instead the FDA provided CNSNews.com with a three-paragraph statement. (See the FDA’s full statement by clicking here.)
In its statement to CNSNews.com, the FDA stressed that it was committed to making certain its research followed “all legal requirements” and met “the highest ethical standards.”
Apart from the destruction of human life and the exploitation of aborted babies by using their body parts for research, the pro-life movement has long questioned the ethics of transplanting human brains cells into other species.
Research has previously taken place at the University of Rochester where mice were injected with glial cells from human fetuses. Glial cells are cells that support neurons in the nervous systems. The mice incorporated these glial cells into their brain and “outperformed normal mice almost fourfold in a variety of cognition tests.”
The researchers stressed that the mice still had mouse brains, saying “This does not provide the animals with additional capabilities that could in any way be ascribed or perceived as specifically human. Rather, the human cells are simply improving the efficiency of the mouse’s own neural networks. It’s still a mouse.”
But the mixing of human brain cells with those of other species, especially those of other primates, raise serious ethical considerations. The paper in Journal of Neuroscience clearly states that the glial cells came from second trimester abortions.
There is plenty of research that is being performed with aborted fetuses. In this case, scientists hope that this model model will help illuminate the contribution of glial cells to human neurological disorders. It is a noble goal, but the source of the glial cells morally taints all their research. They could have used cells from ethical sources like a natural miscarriage, but they did not.
When Planned Parenthood was exposed selling aborted baby parts for such research, videos recorded a conversation between Melissa Farrell, Director of Research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, and two CMP actors posing as representatives of an organ procurement company. That conversation focused on potential compensation to Planned Parenthood in exchange for fetal remains.
Farrell made it clear that Planned Parenthood had been involved in the selling of aborted baby parts for some time and was very familiar with the use of fetal remains in the production of humanized mice.
She discussed how the Houston affiliate for which she worked was “resistant” to recent efforts by Planned Parenthood Federation of America to standardize fetal tissue sales throughout the participating affiliates because “we’ve been doing our own thing for a long time.”
She emphasized repeatedly that she creates a written line-item budget for compensation that effectively conceals the fact that the money received from fetal remains is actually a financial benefit to the company above and beyond hard costs.
In addition, she noted that they are able to alter abortion procedures to make sure they have baby parts to sell.
“And we have had studies in which the company, and or in this case, investigator, has a specific need for certain portions of the parts of conception and we base that into our contract and our protocol that we follow this, so we deviate from our standard in order to do that,” Farrell said, (emphasis added).
Yet Farrell acknowledged that it was illegal for them to alter the timing or manner of the procedure for the purpose of ensuring organs were fit for use by researchers.
In the lengthy video, Farrell is seen looking over her e-mail when she finds a message from an immune-biology laboratory that was requesting fetal tissue to create humanized mice.