December 14, 2018
HHS may not have made up its mind about fetal tissue research, but House conservatives have! While the Trump administration finishes up its review of any projects that use aborted babies, the House decided to do a little investigating of its own. And pro-lifers are hoping NIH was listening.
Thursday's hearings, hosted by a pair of Government Oversight subcommittees, zeroed in on the grisly practice of using taxpayer dollars to experiment on tiny human bodies. With the legislative session winding down, Chairmen Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) joined forces to highlight the problem before the new Democratic majority takes over. People in their districts, they said, were furious that their tax dollars not only support these kind of gruesome projects, but also go to organizations like Planned Parenthood -- who profit from the sale of baby body parts.
"This is pretty simple," said Rep. Jordan. "We don't need the fetal body parts from babies to achieve scientific and medical achievements because we have alternatives that can do it." A familiar face to FRC, Dr. David Prentice agreed, testifying that "There is no scientific necessity for the continued taxpayer funding of fresh fetal tissue, organs, and body parts from induced abortion. Ample scientific alternatives exist, and modern alternatives have overtaken any need for fresh fetal tissue."
As most bioethicists would tell you, "If you're surprised to find that fetal tissue has been used to treat and cure these diseases, you wouldn't be alone because it's simply not true." Still, Democrats insisted, this tissue has "unique properties that are "necessary" to test HIV cures. One of the party's witnesses, Dr. Temple, did confess that the undercover footage of Planned Parenthood's baby body parts ring was "disturbing," but also admitted that her company had purchased fetal tissue from one of the groups caught on David Daleiden's videos.
While a lot of pro-lifers are encouraged by the news that NIH may put another $20 million into fetal tissue alternatives, their biggest goal remains the same. "I think emphatically there should be a wall built between the taxpayer dollars and the use of those dollars going toward aborted baby parts and the research thereof," Congressman Jody Hice (R-Ga.) reiterated yesterday. He and GOP leaders are right. It's time to put the government's money where it belongs: in research that's ethical and effective.
For more on this debate, check out our FRC Speaker Series event with Congressman Jim Banks (R-Ind.) below.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.