Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Pro-Life Group Exposes FDA's Approval of Aborted Fetal Tissue in Research

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A Minnesota-based pro-life group is raising awareness of the gruesome practice, approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), of research labs using the remains of aborted babies in medical research projects. In a recent news release, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) reported that the FDA has approved a clinical trial by StemCells Inc., which uses brain tissue from aborted babies to treat macular degeneration. According to MCCL, the research firm injects the fetal brain cells into the eyes of patients suffering from the degenerative condition to study the effect of the cells on vision.

MCCL noted that in its press release announcing the study, “StemCells Inc. was careful to refer to the fetal brain material as ‘purified human neural stem cell product’ or HuCNS-SC cells, rather than ‘fresh human fetal brain tissue,’ a description which can be found elsewhere on its website.”

MCCL’s executive director Scott Fischbach said that referring to the tissue as “stem cell product” is deceptive. “StemCells Inc. is not using embryonic stem cells,” Fischbach explained. “A five-day-old human being at the embryonic stage does not have a brain, but a fetus at 10 or 20 weeks of development with visible fingers, toes, and ears has a functioning brain.” He noted that babies developing in the womb are being treated “simply as raw material for laboratory experimentation by StemCells Inc. and other companies seeking to monetize aborted unborn children.”

A spokesman for StemCells Inc. triumphantly declared that with the FDA’s approval of the clinical trial using brain tissue from aborted babies, “we have accomplished something truly unique in the stem cell field, which is the extension of clinical testing of our proprietary human neural stem cell platform to all three elements of the central nervous system: the brain, spinal cord and eye.” The research spokesman gleefully added that “we look forward to getting this trial underway.”

Fischbach pointed out that StemCells Inc. is by no means the only research firm cashing in on fetal tissue. He noted, for example, the University of Washington-Seattle, where the incongruously named Birth Defects Research Laboratory has gained notoriety within research circles as a top-tier government distributor of fetal tissue. According to World magazine, the lab has been sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for over four decades.

The Puget Sound Business Journal noted that in 2009 the facility “filled more than 4,400 requests for fetal tissue and cell lines.” World magazine reported that so far the fetal tissue supplier has co-opted the remains of pre-born babies from some 22,000 pregnancies, collecting the heart-wrenching harvest from abortion facilities across America.

Fischbach observed that experimental fetal stem cell treatments have yielded horrific results on human beings, recalling clinical trials in which fetal stem cells have been used unsuccessfully to treat Parkinson’s disease. He noted that even the New York Times described the results of one such study as “devastating” after “the patients writhed and jerked uncontrollably.”

He said that the use of “morally illicit material in the biomedical industry violates the ‘do no harm’ principle that has governed the practice of medicine for millennia.” By contrast, he added, “adult stem cells offer the ethical and efficacious alternative. Unborn babies deserve dignity, not dissection and destruction.”

In related news, Investigate Daily, a New Zealand online magazine, recently reported that there are firms in the U.S. that do a multi-billion-dollar business providing tissue and organs from aborted babies to research labs and other facilities around the world. Mark Crutcher of the pro-life group Life Dynamics, which has helped to expose the trafficking, noted that while the activity is against the law in the U.S., the complicit firms “have developed a loophole around it in that, for example, when they sell baby parts, they don’t sell you the part.” Instead, he explained “they say, ‘we will donate the part to you.’ Well, that makes it legal, but then, ‘you have to pay us to harvest the part ... to transport it ... to gather it, and get it to you’ — and they can set the price on that.”

He added that the whole gruesome business is justified on the concept that “it might help society. It may help cure diseases. It may help do this wondrous thing and this other wondrous thing.” In reality, he argued “the fact is that we cannot profit from our own evil. We have no right to harvest the parts of these dead babies who we intentionally kill in order to make our lives better.”

OneNewsNow.com recalled that the horrific practice of harvesting and selling the bodies of aborted babies “came to light when a former abortion clinic technician revealed that clinics were harvesting body parts to sell to labs testing new drugs or procedures, or to researchers trying to find the causes of genetic disorders.” An ABC 20/20 revealed that the illicit trafficking “was taking place inside abortion clinics run by Planned Parenthood, the U.S. affiliate of New Zealand’s family planning organization,” reported OneNewsNow.

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