Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Promotes Hospital Caught Doing Research With Aborted Baby Parts

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 29, 2021   |   12:34PM   |   Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf launched a special medical “best practices” promotion campaign in November with a Pittsburgh hospital that was caught implanting aborted babies’ scalps onto rodents for scientific research.

The Federalist pointed out the new partnership amid growing questions about unethical research and abortion practices at the University of Pittsburgh and the UPMC Magee-Women’s Hospital.

According to the Wolf administration, its partnership with Magee-Women’s Hospital will “focus on improving maternal health” and “facilitate greater use of best practices to support the health system’s work to improve” perinatal screenings and treatments.

The announcement raised concerns for Ryan Navarro, a former UPMC employee who left after learning of a horrific taxpayer-funded experiment in which scientists at the university implanted scalps from second-trimester aborted babies onto rodents.

“… the governor is ignoring serious ethical and legal questions regarding the state’s largest hospital abortion provider’s role in fetal experimentation,” Navarro wrote at The Federalist. Wolf is a pro-abortion Democrat who used to volunteer at a Planned Parenthood abortion facility.

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The university is facing growing scrutiny after Judicial Watch and the Center for Medical Progress exposed evidence of babies potentially being born alive in abortions and other disturbing practices at the university earlier this year. The evidence came from documents they obtained from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through a Freedom of Information Act request.

One horrific experiment involved scalping second-trimester aborted babies and then implanting their scalps onto rodents to study the human immune system. University of Pittsburgh researchers published the results of the study in 2020 in the journal “Scientific Reports,” as well as photos that show tufts of babies’ hair growing on the rodents.

Pro-life leaders, along with state and federal lawmakers, have been calling for an investigation. In September, university officials announced plans to conduct an investigation to ensure its scientific research programs are complying with the law, The College Fix reported at the time.

But Navarro said many questions are still unanswered, making the Wolf administration’s partnership with the university especially concerning.

“Given Magee’s history and ongoing lack of transparency, the Wolf administration would be wise to withdraw from partnering with the hospital until necessary investigations have been completed and relevant questions have been answered,” Navarro wrote.

Before he left UPMC, Navarro said he submitted a report outlining concerns about the close affiliations between several university officials and the Planned Parenthood abortion chain. He said Dr. Beatrice Chen is the vice chair of the university Institutional Review Board, which approves scientific research projects with aborted baby body parts; she also oversees abortions at Magee and Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania.

Dr. Mitchell Creinin, a former university Institutional Review Board member, also was a past medical director for Planned Parenthood, Navarro continued.

Like the Center for Medical Progress and others, Navarro also raised concerns about statements from current and former university officials that suggest the possibility that some aborted babies may be born alive before their organs are harvested for scientific research.

He wrote:

Claims from whistleblowers that aborted babies have lived through the procedures at Magee go back as far as 1972, when a Magee nurse provided testimony to Pennsylvania’s Abortion Law Commission. She discussed witnessing moving, breathing fetuses being “packed in ice” and rushed to a laboratory. Doctors at the hospital were using a legal loophole to perform abortions during this time, according to a former Magee employee.

Navarro also accused university leaders of avoiding answering questions, even though the university and hospital receive taxpayer funding.

He continued:

Magee’s annual board of directors meeting last month was described as “public” but held in private. The board’s chairman is denying requests to release the written record of what was discussed.

So is Leslie Davis, the president and CEO of the $23 billion UPMC system. Davis, a former Magee president, is also avoiding questions about her role in overseeing the hospital when the NIH awarded Pitt with $1.5 million toward a project that made UPMC and Pitt an aborted fetal tissue hub and collection site.

University officials have denied any wrong-doing. In August, a University of Pittsburgh spokesman called the allegations “irresponsible and false” in a statement to Fox News. He said the university and its partners comply with all laws, and the university itself does not perform abortions.

Around the same time, a group of U.S. House and Senate Republicans sent a letter to the Biden administration, urging a full investigation of the University of Pittsburgh’s GenitoUrinary Developmental Molecular Anatomy Project (GUDMAP).

The program involves obtaining kidneys, bladders and other organs from aborted babies for scientific research, according to public documents. In its funding application to the federal government, the university said it wanted to become a “tissue hub and collection site” for “fetal tissue,” meaning aborted baby body parts.

In their letter, the federal lawmakers expressed numerous concerns about the university project, including the possibility that abortions may be being altered illegally for the sole purpose of harvesting aborted babies’ organs and that babies may be being born alive in some cases.

“Exploiting the body parts of aborted children for research purposes is repulsive and should stop, regardless of the outcome hoped for by researchers,” the lawmakers wrote. “Research using abortive fetal tissue is unethical, wrong, and has also been proven ineffective.”

Pennsylvania state lawmakers also are calling for an investigation into the allegations.

The university has been using Americans’ tax dollars to become a “tissue hub” for aborted baby body parts for scientific research for years. According to the documents obtained by Judicial Watch and the Center for Medical Progress, the university requested $3.2 million over a five-year period in 2015, and it has received at least $2.7 million so far.