HHS Dumps Contract with Fetal Parts Company but Keeps Experiments Using Humanized Mice

By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, D.C. – In response to pressure from Congress and pro-life groups, including Operation Rescue, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has terminated a contract with Advanced Biosciences, a company that procures aborted baby remains from abortion facilities and sells them.

According to a press statement released late yesterday, “HHS is now conducting an audit of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal tissue research laws and regulations. In addition, HHS has initiated a comprehensive review of all research involving fetal tissue to ensure consistency with statutes and regulations governing such research, and to ensure the adequacy of procedures and oversight of this research in light of the serious regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved.”

However, this means that fetal tissue experimentation may continue as long as it meets government “standards,” something the Susan B. Anthony List, which spearheaded the effort to halt all such activity, believes this decision to review rather than terminate fetal tissue procurement and experimentation does not go far enough.

“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 in a written statement. “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.”

The National Institutes of Health currently funds experimentation using human fetal tissue and organs to the tune of $100 million U.S. taxpayer dollars. Much of the aborted baby tissue and organs goes to create humanized mice, which are altered to more closely resemble human systems.

One example of the kind of programs the NIH has funded includes a project previously reported on by Operation Rescue. Abortionist Laurent C. Delli-Bovi, who is the founder and Medical Director at Women’s Health Services where abortions are done up to 23 weeks, co-authored a 2011 paper that studied the brains of 22 aborted babies, aged 14-22 weeks, to explore why those with Down syndrome experience mental retardation and early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. The brains were procured from babies she aborted at her private abortion facility then were transported to a lab for experimentation by Delli-Bovi. The study was funded with public money from the National Institutes of Health. [Read more about this.]

“Ghoulish experiments that use humanized mice and others like those Delli-Bovi has conducted have no business being funded by the American taxpayer, most of which would be horrified to learn their tax money was being used in this way,” said Operation Rescue President, who had signed on to the SBA List letter along with 47 other pro-life leaders. “All experimentation on aborted baby remains funded by the U.S. government must be terminated for the sake of human decency.”

Read: Pro-Life Leaders Urge HHS to Stop Buying Aborted Baby Remains to Create Humanized Mice