A conservative group is demanding more answers about how the government spent taxpayer dollars on aborted baby body parts for research.
This week, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asking for documents about aborted baby parts that were purchased through the Food and Drug Administration for testing on “humanized mice.”
“Why are U.S. taxpayer dollars being used to contract with a company alleged to have trafficked in baby body parts? Judicial Watch is demanding a full accounting of the procedures as well as the funds used in this disturbing experimentation,” its President Tom Fitton said in a statement.
The group said it decided to file the lawsuit after HHS did not adequately respond to its request for information on Sept. 28, 2018.
Judicial Watch requested the following:
- All contracts and related documentation between FDA and Advanced Biosciences Resources (ABR) for the provision of human fetal tissue to be used in humanized mice research.
- All records reflecting the disbursement of funds to ABR for the provision of human fetal tissue to be used in humanized mice research.
- All guidelines and procedural documents provided to ABR by FDA relating to the acquisition and extraction of human fetal tissue for its provision to the FDA for humanized mice research.
- All communications between FDA officials and employees and representatives of ABR related to the provision by ABR to the FDA of human fetal tissue for the purpose of humanized mice research.
FDA documents that have been released show that it approved a contract in July 2018 to purchase fetal tissue for the experiments.
According to the documents, researchers take mice and destroy their immune systems through radiation, and then graft livers or thymus glands from aborted babies onto the mice to create functioning human immune systems. Then, researchers use the “humanized mice” for drug testing.
According to Judicial Watch, brains, eyes, liver, thymus and lungs from aborted babies were sold by Advanced Biosciences Resources for $325 per specimen.
In the past year, pro-life groups and conservative news outlets have been uncovering new details about government spending on aborted baby parts for research. Some of these contracts used tax dollars to pay for body parts from healthy, late-term aborted babies – including potentially viable unborn babies up to 24 weeks. The National Institutes of Health, an agency under HHS, has given about $100 million to these research projects.
The Trump administration has been working to end the unethical practice. In December, it announced a new $20 million grant to invest in ethical alternatives to aborted baby parts in scientific research.
While some scientists have complained about the changes, others pointed to evidence that research using human fetal tissue has been going on for decades but, by and large, it has not been successful. Dr. David Prentice and Tara Sander Lee of the Charlotte Lozier Institute said there are ethical alternatives available to scientists that do not involve the destruction of a human life.
A November letter from HHS assistant secretary of health Brett Giroir said the Trump administration is “fully committed to prioritizing, expanding, and accelerating efforts to develop and implement the use of these alternatives.” He also said the department is “pro-life and pro-science.”
The administration said HHS is conducting an audit of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to “ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal tissue research laws and regulations.”
Details uncovered by CNS News in 2018 shed light on an NIH contract with University of California San Francisco, which provides money for fetal body parts to conduct experiments involving “humanized mice.”
Aborted baby body parts used in the experiments were taken from healthy, potentially viable unborn babies. According to the report, the aborted babies were 18 to 24 weeks gestation from “women with normal pregnancies before elective termination for non-medical reasons.” Another article indicated aborted babies’ livers and thymuses also were used. They were between 20 weeks and 24 weeks gestation.
A 2017 journal article indicates researchers also used aborted babies’ intestines in their experiments.