October 19, 2018 – Ending Federal Trafficking of Baby Body Parts
What is the problem?
Researchers at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently attempted to skirt federal law by purchasing $15,900 worth of “fresh human fetal tissue” to create human-like immune systems in mice. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has other contracts with fetal tissue providers.
It was only a few years ago that we learned of similar abhorrent actions by Planned Parenthood to sell body parts of aborted babies. The American people and elected officials rightly called for investigations into those allegations and were quick to condemn the actions.
Yet unelected bureaucrats at HHS seemingly have no concerns with violating federal law to continue the practice. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimated spending $103 million on fetal tissue research in 2018. We must end the pernicious practice of federal agencies promoting the purchase of aborted babies.
What am I doing about it?
On September 14, 2018, I joined 84 of my House colleagues in sending a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to “cancel the contract immediately and utilize alternative, modern scientific techniques that do not contribute to trafficking in baby body parts.”
On September 24, HHS Secretary Alexander Azar announced cancellation of the FDA contract and an internal audit of all fetal tissue contracts and research “to ensure conformity with” existing laws and regulations.
I am grateful that Secretary Azar took this action, but I am concerned in his lack of commitment to stop supporting aborted fetal tissue research altogether. American taxpayer dollars should never be used to support any aspect of the abortion industry. I call on Secretary Azar to end all contracts for fetal tissue and will continue to support efforts in Congress to bring an end to abortion.
What are they saying?
“Secretary Azar must put an immediate moratorium on funding for research using aborted baby organs and tissue purchased from the abortion industry,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Further, Secretary Azar should instead devote tax dollars to ethical alternatives that – unlike experimentation on fetal tissue – produce successful therapies for patients. Canceling a single contract and conducting a review is a small step forward, but overall is completely inadequate.
“Pro-lifers cheered the quick action by Azar, who showed that he was willing to move HHS in the right direction on research that's not only unethical -- but unnecessary. Of course, there's a lot more the agency can do to clean house on this ghoulish practice, including cutting off almost $100 million in grisly experiments at NIH, where Obama holdover Francis Collins is still writing checks for baby body parts. No one seems to understand quite why, since it's unpopular and unproductive compared to the moral alternatives that are actually helping patients.” (for the full release click here) — Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
Carol Tobias, NRLC President, commended the action and stated, “HHS has taken a significant step forward in seeking to limit the use of tissue from aborted babies to the extent permitted by law. An internal audit to make sure any and all possible limitations are being followed, as well as looking for alternatives, is a good start."