From the SFLA Blog

Fetal Tissue Experimentation Is Morally and Scientifically Wrong: There Are Plenty of Life-Saving Alternatives 

Autumn Doersching - 29 Apr 2021

Blog by Samantha Kamman.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden’s administration reversed former President Donald Trump’s ban on the use of aborted body parts for taxpayer-funded research. Projects like this not only exploit vulnerable human beings, but unethical experiments like this are entirely unnecessary for furthering therapeutic research.

Still, that did not stop Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra from promoting falsehoods about fetal tissue experimentation.

“We believe that we have to do the research it takes to make sure that we are incorporating innovation and getting all of those types of treatments and therapies out there to the American people,” Becerra said, according to The Washington Post.

Dr. Tara Sander Lee, Senior Fellow and Director of Life Sciences at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, saidthe Biden administration’s decision defies “both the best ethics and most promising science.”

Lee also noted that “fetal tissue was not, and has never been, used for polio or any other vaccine, nor  to produce or manufacture any pharmaceutical.”

“There are superior and ethical alternatives available such as adult stem cell models being used by countless scientists worldwide to develop and produce advanced medicines treating patients now, without exploitation of any innocent life,” Lee said. “All scientists should reject the administration’s attempts to prey on fears related to the pandemic to advance the practice of harvesting fetal tissue.”

According to a Charlotte Lozier Institute report, ethical alternatives to fetal tissue research include the use of miscarried tissue or organoids, organ-like structures that mimic normal human development. Researchers can also use postnatal tissue, iPs cells, and adult stem cells to study infectious diseases.

Adult stem cells, in particular, have proven to be incredibly effective. Based on data gathered from December 2012, well over 1 million patients worldwide experienced improvements in their health after undergoing adult stem cell treatments.

In addition, humanized mice created without the use of fetal tissue are “easier to prepare at lower cost, more animals can be generated per cohort, there is negligible graft-versus-host disease and longer life span, chronic HIV infection is longer-lasting, and long-term safety and toxicity assessments are possible.”

Humanized mice created with fetal tissue, however, are more technically difficult, costly, time-consuming, and not as efficient as the other models.”

Despite Becerra’s claims, aborted fetal tissue has never been used in vaccine production. Most modern vaccines use animal or insect cell lines or non-fetal human tissue. The Ebola vaccine, for example, was produced using the Vero monkey cell line and is 97.5% effective.

And, fetal tissue projects are not funded to research vaccines. Instead, these types of experiments typically involve studying things like brain and eye development. This means researchers are purchasing aborted baby body parts for these studies.

As the 2015 undercover Center for Medical Progress videos showed, this incentivizes abortion facilities to commit more abortions so they can profit from the sale of aborted body parts.

The practice of using aborted body parts for research is not only outdated; it’s downright barbaric. It’s time for political leaders to get with the times and fund ethical alternatives instead.

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