Commentary

Tony Perkins: Unacceptable for FDA to Use Tax Dollars to Help Create Demand for Aborted-Baby Parts

Tony Perkins
By Tony Perkins | September 14, 2018 | 2:56 PM EDT

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The abortion industry doesn't respect life before death, so it's no surprise that they don't respect it after. Still, most Americans had higher hopes for the U.S. government, especially after Planned Parenthood's ghoulish market of baby body parts. The Trump administration has always treated human life with dignity, which is why pro-lifers were surprised to hear about a new FDA contract that sounds like something straight off the sci-fi network.

Regardless of which side you're on, the idea of experimenting on aborted babies is gruesome to most people. Americans were already unwilling funders of Planned Parenthood's ring of baby organ sales. They shuddered when David Daleiden caught buyers asking for another “50 livers a week” or staffers remembering how the babies' hearts kept beating before they packed them to sell. They got chills reading how abortionists like Kermit Gosnell treated his “debris,” filling “filled bags, milk jugs, orange-juice cartons, and even cat-food containers” with “fetal remains.”

There's just something profoundly barbaric about defiling tiny human corpses. So pro-lifers were understandably disturbed to hear about a new project of the FDA that uses the tissue of “fresh” aborted babies in a study on humanized mice. Scientists will argue that $15,000 is a drop in the taxpayer bucket, but to Americans, even a single penny spent experimenting on human life is too much. And a coalition of pro-life leaders is making sure that HHS gets that message this week.

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, I joined with other conservative leaders in asking the administration to put the brakes on any medical research on aborted babies' remains. Of course, it's entirely probable that Secretary Azar was completely unaware of the project. HHS is, after all, a massive government agency – with almost 80,000 employees and one of the largest budgets in the federal government. But now that he's aware of the project, conservatives are hopeful he'll stop it.

Expressing our “shock and dismay,” we explained in the letter that it's “completely unacceptable” for the FDA to use federal tax dollars to help create demand for human body parts from aborted babies. When a reporter uncovered the contract, the FDA explained that it's “committed to ensuring that its research is conducted responsibly, conforms with all legal requirements, and meets the highest ethical standards.” As almost 50 pro-life leaders stated in the letter:

“These experiments using aborted fetal organs are neither responsible nor do they meet even modest ethical standards, and there are serious questions about the legality of methods used to procure the aborted baby organs and tissue ... Advanced Bioscience Resources, the company with which the FDA has its contract for procurement of aborted fetal organs, is among the entities referred for criminal investigation by both houses of Congress for potential collusion with abortion facilities as well as possibly profiting from the sale of fetal organs from aborted babies.”

What makes the discovery even more frustrating is that there's absolutely no reason to use human remains. As we explain to Secretary Azar, “good scientific alternatives exist to this grisly sourcing, including use of human umbilical cord blood stem cells and adult peripheral blood stem cells. There are abundant modern scientific alternatives, making aborted fetal tissue unnecessary.” We expect better from HHS – and as taxpayers, we deserve better.

Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by the Family Research Council.


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