Wisconsin Bill Would Ban Research Using Body Parts From Aborted Babies

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 4, 2019   |   10:17PM   |   Madison, WI

Wisconsin lawmakers renewed their efforts Wednesday to prohibit research using body parts from aborted babies in their state.

The AP reports state Sen. Andre Jacque and Rep. Janel Brandtjen, both pro-life Republicans, began circulating the new bill after previous efforts to protect the dignity of the unborn child failed.

Their bill would prohibit aborted baby body parts from being used in research, and require abortionists to ethically dispose of the baby’s body. These types of measures can help prevent the abortion industry from profiting from the sales of aborted baby body parts.

Wisconsin lawmakers initially tried to ban the unethical research in 2015 after the Center for Medical Progress exposed Planned Parenthood’s gruesome practice of harvesting aborted baby body parts and allegedly selling them to companies that then sold them to researchers.

The University of Wisconsin was one of a handful of institutions that was caught purchasing the body parts of aborted babies for research in the wake of the investigation. In 2015, nearly 700 faculty members from the Wisconsin school signed a letter arguing that a bill to ban the sale of fetal body parts in the state would cut off “hope for patients” and deter biomedical students and the biotechnology industry from coming to their university because it shows “that Wisconsin is no place to do business.”

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However, in an op-ed in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, six doctors explain why using “tissue” from aborted babies 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).”

They continued, “Other successes include five new FDA-approved drugs (as of 2011) developed using the (chemical) glutamine synthetase system and more than 70 successful treatments developed using adult stem cell sources. 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.”

It is not clear if the 2019 bill will pass. Though Republicans have a majority, Gov. Tony Evers is a pro-abortion Democrat who has threatened to veto pro-life legislation in the past.