President Donald Trump’s administration continues to scrutinize the use of fetal tissue from aborted babies in federally funded research.  Recent hearings hosted by government oversight subcommittees are pinpointing this horrendous practice of using taxpayer dollars to experiment on preborn human bodies.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), an organization within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), estimates it has spent $103 million taxpayer dollars purchasing and experimenting on human fetal tissue in fiscal year 2018. The HHS is currently auditing federal purchases of fetal tissue and the NIH has just announced it will spend up to $20 million on research on alternatives.

However, during the recent hearings, NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins stated that while research on alternatives to the use of aborted fetal tissue is “scientifically, highly justified,” fetal tissue will nevertheless “continue to be the mainstay.”

Dr. Sally Temple, scientific director for the Neural Stem Cell Institute, was asked her opinion of the 2015 undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress exposing Planned Parenthood’s unethical and potentially illegal profiteering from the sale of aborted baby body parts. Temple responded: “I found the videos shocking.” Yet she admitted that her company had purchased fetal tissue from one of the groups caught on the videos. Temple also stated the taxpayers should fund Planned Parenthood because it does “wonderful work for women’s health.”

Dr. Tara Sander Lee of the Charlotte Lozier Institute also revealed that human fetal tissue was never needed for research because of viable alternatives such as adult stem cells. Lee said, “We do not need fetal body parts from aborted babies to achieve future scientific and medical advancements. After over 100 years of research, no therapies have been discovered or developed that require aborted fetal tissue. History has shown us that we never needed fetal tissue.”

National and state pro-life leaders sent a letter last September to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar urging the government to end the taxpayer-funded use of aborted fetal tissue for research.

That same month, HHS canceled the contract between the Food and Drug Administration and Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) which would have used taxpayer dollars to fund the use of aborted fetal tissue for research. According to the federal contract database, the FDA signed the contract on July 25 with ABR to acquire “fresh” organs from aborted babies to implant them into mice. The taxpayer-funded project included paying nearly $16,000 to ABR for harvested organs, even though the organization remains under investigation by the Department of Justice. ABR admitted that it has paid $60 for aborted babies and then sold their body parts at $325 per “specimen.”

“It is encouraging that the Trump administration continues to unveil the unethical and immoral profit that is being made from aborted baby parts,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Every human life is precious and should not be sacrificed as an experiment.  These despicable acts by organizations and companies underscore why our client Sandra ‘Susan’ Merritt should be applauded for revealing the seedy underbelly of Planned Parenthood,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is defending Sandra Merritt against 15 felony charges, brought by the Attorney General in California, to punish her for undercover work as one of the journalists who produced the videos that exposed Planned Parenthood’s unethical and potentially illegal profiteering from the sale of aborted baby body parts.

Photo: Aerial photograph from the north of the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center (Building 10) on the National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland campus

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