5 Takeaways From a Discussion of Alternatives to Fetal Tissue Research

The Daily Signal | 12/6/2018 | Staff
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Melanie Israel is a research associate for the DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.

The Department of Health and Human Services is considering the future of federally funded research using fetal tissue derived from elective abortions, amid continuing controversy surrounding government contracts for such tissue.

House - Subcommittees - Hearing - Dec - Alternatives

Two House subcommittees will hold a hearing Dec. 13 regarding ethical alternatives to fetal tissue research.

The pro-life Center for Medical Progress shocked the nation in 2015 by releasing a series of disturbing undercover videos in which abortion industry representatives discuss the sale of aborted baby body parts.

Videos - Investigations - Referrals - Procurement - Companies

The videos led to multiple congressional investigations and resulted in criminal referrals of procurement companies and abortion providers for a range of potential legal violations. Those violations range from profiting from the sale of tissue and infringing on patient privacy to modifying surgical abortion procedures for the purpose of obtaining certain tissue.

Last week, two scholars from the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, took part in a Heritage Foundation event entitled “Fetal Tissue Research: Antiquated and Unethical?”

HHS - Value - Tissue - Research - Plethora

As HHS considers the scientific value of fetal tissue research and the plethora of ethical alternatives, the presentations by David Prentice, Ph.D., and Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D., at the Heritage event made for a timely and informative discussion for policymakers and citizens alike.

Here are five important takeaways.

Tissue - Research - Decades - US - Law

1. Fetal tissue research has existed for decades, and U.S. law has evolved.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan issued a moratorium on using federal funds for fetal tissue research from abortions, President Bill Clinton lifted that moratorium in 1993.

Year - Congress - Legislation - Transplantation - Research

That same year, Congress passed legislation on transplantation research that uses fetal tissue. It included provisions for informed consent and payments associated with procuring and transferring the tissue.

2. Results of various projects generally have been unsuccessful.

Proponents - Tissue - Research

Proponents of fetal tissue research...
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