Report Claims Abortion Providers Profit from Fetal Tissue Research

July 7, 2008 - 7:02 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Abortion providers are making money on the sale of fetal tissue by charging "site fees" to wholesalers who harvest the material and market it to researchers, thus circumventing federal laws, a Texas-based pro-life group alleges.

Life Dynamics of Denton, Texas, recently released a 64-page document that contains numerous invoices and price guides for the remains of aborted babies which they claim are being shipped to researchers working for universities, pharmaceutical companies and government agencies.

While it is against federal law to sell human tissue and body parts, clinics "donate" the material through wholesalers, who are charged "site fees" for the "processing" of intact organs, Life Dynamics said.

Calls by CNSNews.com to Planned Parenthood headquarters in News York, whose abortion clinics Life Dynamics said were the major financial benefactors in the sale of fetal tissue, were not returned.

Research involving the use of human fetal tissue obtained from induced abortions into patients suffering from such disorders as Parkinson's disease has been the subject of considerable debate in the biomedical community since a moratorium on federally-funded research involving the transplantation of fetal tissue was lifted in 1993.

Women seeking abortions are told their permission to donate fetal tissue for research may result in the saving of lives of possibly thousands of people with diseases that might not otherwise be cured without this research.

Fr. Joseph Howard of the American Bio-Ethics Advisory Commission, a panel of scholars specializing in science, medicine, law, philosophy and theology, told CNSNews.com that to claim good can come from abortion is like saying people could benefit from money they knew was stolen, even if they didn't participate in the theft.

"If you knowingly take money that has been obtained illicitly, then you are cooperating in an act that is unethical, no matter what good you do with that money," Howard said.

"The ultimate solution is to stop abortions," Howard said. "To condone fetal tissue research is tantamount to saying we know robberies are going to happen - even though we have laws against them and we punish people when we catch them - therefore that allows us to profit from the stolen goods."

Steve Sanborn of the American Life League, the nation's largest pro-life educational organization, told CNSNews.com the legalization of partial-birth abortion has fueled the trade in fetal tissue.

"The partial-birth abortion method was introduced around the same time as fetal marketing was starting to pick up. Of course they go around telling everybody it's the safest, cleanest method and all that, but the ultimate reason is they need partial-birth abortion to be able to create this other industry," Sanborn said.

Congressional measures to ban partial-birth abortion, a procedure that is performed during the fifth month of gestation or later, were vetoed twice by President Clinton.