The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now officially involved in the buying of human body parts from aborted fetuses after entering into a new contract to acquire “human fetal tissue” for the purpose of transplanting it into mice to give them a functional “human immune system.”
According to an extensive report by CNSNews, the tissue, which will be bought solely from Advanced Biosciences Research, Inc. (ABR), a San Francisco based non-profit, will be used in what they describe as “ongoing research.”
“Fresh human tissues are required for implantation into severely immune-compromised mice to create chimeric animals that have a human immune system,” the FDA stated in a presolicitation notice. “This human immune system allows us to test biological drug products for safety and efficacy. This is necessary because these drug products do not bind non-human species drug targets.”
According to a 2016 background paper provided by Harvard University to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, mice with human immune systems “are engineered to this condition only by means of the use of human fetal material” and that this material can only come from aborted babies not from miscarriages.
Published materials on the FDA’s website and a scientific journal indicate that the tissue it uses to create these “humanized mice” is that of a human thymus and liver.
The acquisition of this material poses a grave concern because, as CNS’ Terence P. Jeffrey explains, “by issuing a contract to acquire human fetal tissue to use in making mice with human immune systems, the FDA is using federal tax dollars to create a demand for human body parts that must be taken from babies who are aborted.
And, he adds, “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.”
CNS responded to this announcement by sending the FDA 20 questions, most of which the agency did not answer.
For example, CNS asked where the “fresh human tissue” will come from because ABR is located in San Francisco and the FDA in Maryland. Does this mean that the FDA will acquire this tissue from abortions that take place in other states? How many different abortion facilities will be involved in the acquisition of this material and will Planned Parenthood clinics participate? CNS also asked if the FDA plans to inform the mothers who agree to donate their child’s tissue that it will be transplanted into mice.
Instead of answering the questions, the FDA provided a three-paragraph statement in which they say, among other things, that they are not involved in ABR’s sourcing of the tissue.
They claim to be committed to ensuring that its research “is conducted responsibly, conforms with all legal requirements, and meets the highest ethical standards” and assure that research involving human fetal tissue “accounts for a very small fraction of the FDA’s total research . . .”
In spite of receiving a minimal response from the FDA, CNS research found answers to some of these very troubling questions.
For example, according to the Congressional Committees’ investigative report, ABR does indeed obtain some of its tissue from Planned Parenthood affiliates as well as seven other independent clinics.
“ABR technicians working at the Planned Parenthood clinics obtain the fetuses from the Planned Parenthood staff and then harvest and immediately ship the fetal tissue specimens,” said the report. “The fetal tissue is never stored or otherwise in the possession of ABR.”
According to Jeffrey, pro-life lawmakers have been trying to insert a prohibition on the federal funding of research that uses tissue from aborted babies, but this particular language was removed from the spending bill that ultimately passed the Senate for fiscal 2018.
“It is difficult to imagine anything more shocking or upsetting than the U.S. government soliciting bids from traffickers in the remains of infant victims of abortion,” says Cathy Ruse, Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Legal Studies. “Every part of this transaction is a tragedy. A woman is driven to abort her baby, too often by coercion or abandonment, and there in the shadows is a government contractor waiting to tear apart the baby’s body to deliver pieces in exchange for payment.”
Ruse is calling upon the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to restrict funding fetal tissue research using aborted babies. “. . . [W]e do not believe that HHS and the FDA should approve research of this kind. The FDA owes the American people an explanation as to how such a contract could have been approved. Americans demand to have a more ethical government–one that does not traffic in the remains of human beings.”
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