President Trump’s pro-life administration showed transformative leadership this week, prohibiting government laboratories from trafficking in aborted baby parts and intensifying the protection of human subjects for any remaining outside “research” authorized by statute. This new, exacting oversight is crucial.
I speak from some personal experience, having participated in gathering the Center for Medical Progress’ undercover videos of top-level Planned Parenthood leaders, who admitted the organization’s involvement in the trade in baby body parts. These videos shocked the conscience of the American people in 2015, but the atrocity of government-funded fetal experimentation grows more horrifying the closer we look.
National Institutes of Health (Health and Human Services’ research branch) grantee Dr. Jörg C. Gerlach, an “experimental surgeon” at the taxpayer-funded University of Pittsburgh, has developed and published on a grotesque technique to harvest fresh, pristine livers from intact babies delivered alive in late-term abortions “at a gestational age of 18 to 22 weeks.” Gerlach’s liver-harvesting “protocol” is used for experimental stem cell transplants according to “current Good Manufacturing Practice,” or cGMP, guidelines developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, another arm of HHS.
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“The abortions associated with our protocol were performed by routine medical induction; the labor was induced by local prostaglandin administration,” wrote Gerlach and his University of Pittsburgh Medical Center team. “Because we obtained the tissue from intact abdomens and removed the livers surgically under cGMP conditions, the tissue could be obtained in a sterile manner.”
The FDA’s cGMP guidelines require sterile tissue transplantation products, which means the abortion must leave the fetus intact, with internal organs unexposed to external pathogens.
The step-by-step, clinical details of Gerlach’s experiments are surreal: “Fetuses were collected and transferred to the current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) facility for human cell processing.” How does an NIH-funded researcher “collect and transfer” a five-month old fetus? “The specimens were placed into sterile bags containing University of Wisconsin liver storage solution, and each specimen was transported on ice immediately after the abortion to minimize the transfer time until cell isolation.”
Immediacy was key: “The logistics of the transfer of the fetus to the cell isolation facility required no more than 1 hour, and our protocol excluded the use of cells that were isolated more than 6 hours prior to transplant.”
They even washed the babies: “Upon its arrival at the cGMP facility, each fetus was weighed, rinsed with an iodine solution, and placed onto a sterile surgical tray.”
Then they cut their livers out.
Gerlach et al. first published their work in 2012 after he “designed and coordinated the program” and “developed the methods” for liver harvesting. Gerlach’s colleagues published a more detailed description of the technique in 2017, crediting him as its originator: “We developed a five-step in vivo perfusion method by umbilical vein cannulation to isolate liver cells from fetuses at the late second trimester,” they wrote. “The method used is based on the modification of the original technique of liver perfusion with collagenase, and has been adapted by J.C. Gerlach to the human fetal liver.”
In vivo, of course, means “in the living.” To a medical certainty, a 5-month-old fetus aborted intact by labor induction is alive at the time of delivery. Feticides such as digoxin cannot be used in a harvesting case, and the whole point of the Gerlach protocol is to obtain fresh, live, clean liver cells for transplantation minimizing time without circulation.
In other words, these babies either died when they were “submerged” in bags for transport, or after their bodies were cut open to harvest their livers.
Publications generally describe these vivisection and infanticide procedures taking place at a laboratory in Sicily, owned and operated by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, yet it appears at least some of this ghastly work was developed or practiced in Pittsburgh. Liver-harvesting papers that Gerlach co-authored in 2012, 2015, and 2019 thank his Pittsburgh OB/GYN department colleagues, one of whom owned the local Allegheny Reproductive Health Clinic abortion center, for providing “complete” fetal livers from five-month abortions.
The abortion providers at the local Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania are also on the University of Pittsburgh’s OB/GYN faculty. When I met them undercover in 2014, they told me that fetal organ and tissue harvesting was part of their abortion program at the University, and they were eager to implement it in their practice at Planned Parenthood.
Advanced Bioscience Resources, the decades-long Planned Parenthood business partner and frequent government supplier of aborted baby parts, also provides cGMP-quality tissue procurement, for fees of up to $7,000 per organ.
Gerlach’s fetal liver experiments with UPMC have received at least $2 million in grant money from the NIH since 2011, and his work’s exploitation of born-alive infants raises serious questions about whether HHS violated its own authorizing statutes in previous administrations. The same federal law that permits HHS to fund fetal tissue research forbids any involvement in live fetal experimentation except to save the life of the baby.
The NIH spent a record $115 million on fetal experimentation last year. How much taxpayer money has the NIH spent on infanticide at home and abroad? As Trump’s HHS rejects exploiting vulnerable infants like lab rats, the U.S. Department of Justice should do its job and hold accountable to the law those who traffic in baby body parts.
LifeNews Note: David Daleiden is a citizen journalist and founder and project lead at the Center for Medical Progress, responsible for the undercover video series in 2015 that exposed Planned Parenthood’s participation in the harvesting and sale of aborted fetal body parts.