Carson defends his own fetal tissue research

Carson defends his own fetal tissue research
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GOP presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson is defending the use of fetal tissue for medical research after a decades-old research paper surfaced that showed he once studied parts of a fetal brain.

"You have to look at the intent," Carson told The Washington Post before a campaign event in New Hampshire. "To willfully ignore evidence that you have for some ideological reason is wrong. If you’re killing babies and taking the tissue, that’s a very different thing than taking a dead specimen and keeping a record of it."

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Carson has blasted the use of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood after anti-abortion groups released undercover videos claiming that workers received payment for the donated tissue and that some tissue was used without consent.

The GOP contender told Fox News that the benefits of fetal tissue have been “over-promised” and the results have “very much under-delivered.” He also condemned the use of fetal tissue from late-term abortions, such as those at 17 weeks, because he said fetuses at that point are “human beings.”

But on Wednesday, a doctor and medical blogger highlighted a 1992 paper that Carson co-authored that used fetal brain tissue. One of the fetuses had been aborted at the 17th week of gestation.

Carson responded publicly to the revelation Thursday, arguing that fetal tissue research can be lifesaving.

“It’s one of the reasons why at the turn of the last century, the average age of death was 47. Now, the average age of death is 80. Using the information that you have is a smart thing, not a dumb thing."

He also defended his method for obtaining the fetal tissue, which he said was different than Planned Parenthood.

He added that he has not used fetal tissue since.