Trump's move on unethical fetal tissue experimentation isn't enough

Trump's move on unethical fetal tissue experimentation isn't enough
© Camille Fine

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deserves credit for the announced cancellation of Food and Drug Administration’s $15,900 contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR), an organization previously exposed for harvesting aborted fetal parts and currently under investigation by the Department of Justice. In what Rep. Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithUS has made a genuine response to the plight of Iraq’s persecuted religious minorities Charities fear hit from Trump tax law during holidays Election Countdown: Florida Senate race heads to hand recount | Dem flips Maine House seat | New 2020 trend - the 'friend-raiser' | Ad war intensifies in Mississippi runoff | Blue wave batters California GOP MORE (R-N.J.) called a “barbaric research method that treats babies like research guinea pigs”, ABR had been contracted to provide “fresh human fetal tissue” for transplantation into mice to create human-like immune systems.

While the move by HHS Secretary Alex Azar is appreciated, ironically this is a Mickey Mouse response to an abomination against science when you consider that $15,000 is mere mice droppings compared to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an organization also under HHS's purview, estimated spending of about $103 million on fetal tissue research.

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It has been barely three years since undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress rocked Washington with the exposure of the selling of baby body parts to help fuel fetal human fetal experimentation. The scandal connected the dots between abortion-giant Planned Parenthood and the profit-focused and ethically challenged fetal tissue industry. 

While some, including President Obama, tried to claim the videos were not real the truth is very different. An analysis by Coalfire Systems, Inc. looked at the multiple hours of raw video footage and concluded that no significant edits were done by the CMP team. Even a study commissioned by the abortion-giant Planned Parenthood and conducted by a Democratic opposition-research firm called Fusion, GPS ultimately stated that the “analysis did not reveal widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation.

Despite this, both immoral businesses still receive hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds. In fact, these funds are included in the legislation recently passed by both Chambers of Congress.

However, this is not just a problem that rests solely on the shoulders of the administration. Recently, seventeen U.S. Senators and 85  members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Secretary Azar asking for a cancellation of the contract, as well as a more ethical approach to the research. 

Tellingly, leadership from both parties and in both chambers did not sign onto the letters. This is the same Leadership that then introduced an appropriation bill that forced their rank and file to continue funding big abortion business like ABR, while not allowing for amendments to fix the problem. 

To make matters worse, they then forced those same members to make an impossible choice: Vote for appropriations continuing to fund a barbarous abortion industry that prey upon the unborn, or vote to defund our American troops who risk their lives for ours every single day.

The leadership in Congress is not the only problem here. The head of NIH, Frances Collins, has been a long-time supporter of unethical research and has a reputation of disinterest for the countless lives lost as long as it produces results.

His track record not only includes support for fetal tissue research but also human-embryonic stem cell experimentation, human-animal chimeras and even human cloning. Of the many great nominations made by President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Ayers decision casts harsh light on Trump NASA offers to show Stephen Curry evidence from moon landings Freedom Caucus calls on leadership to include wall funding, end to 'catch and release' in funding bill MORE, Frances Collins sticks out as a counter to his stated pro-life agenda.

Bottom line, this is not a matter of ethics vs. science as there are ethical alternatives that — unlike experimentation on fetal tissue — produce successful therapies for patients. Secretary Azar’s announced review of fetal tissue procurement and experimentation should be demanding and it should halt all contracts throughout the administration with these unethical industries. The rats have profited for far too long from the taxpayer-funded cheese, it is time to clean house.

Tom McClusky is the president of March for Life Action, a pro-life organization.