FDA to Use Aborted Fetus Parts to Breed ‘Humanized Mice'
In a headline that reads like the darkest nightmares of the pro-life lobby, the US Food and Drug Administration is using tax dollars to buy aborted fetus parts to breed ‘humanized mice’ for experiments.
According to FDA documents, the agency intends to acquire “fresh” human fetal tissue from Advanced Bioscience Resources, a California-based non-profit that specializes in sourcing human tissue for scientific research.
According to ABR, this tissue is obtained from first- or second-trimester abortions, as well as full-term stillbirths. The non-profit company offers clients bespoke services, allowing them to specify “tissue characteristics, preservation methods, and delivery times.”
Under its latest contract with ABR, the FDA will purchase $15,900 worth of fetal tissue. The agency has been purchasing such tissue from ABR for several years, as it continues its research into developing humanized mice – lab mice with human immune systems.
By removing a mouse’s bone marrow and implanting human thymus and liver tissue, human stem cells can then be introduced, and will be used by the mouse to form a functioning human immune system. These mice can then be used to test the adverse effects of drugs on the human immune system.
The pro-life lobby has accused the FDA of using tax dollars to fuel a demand for fetal tissue. They argue that, as its experiments need a constant supply of fresh tissue, the FDA has a vested interest in the continuation of legalized abortion.
“Under no circumstances should the US government be contracting with baby-parts dealers like ABR – who have partnered with abortion giant Planned Parenthood – or taxpayers be forced to fund such atrocities,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List group. “We call on Congress to… stop taxpayer funding of these repugnant practices and act swiftly to ban them altogether.”
“Every part of this transaction is a tragedy. A woman is driven to abort her baby, too often by coercion or abandonment, and there in the shadows is a government contractor waiting to tear apart the baby’s body to deliver pieces in exchange for payment,”added Cathy Ruse of the Family Research Council, another anti-abortion group.
The tissue business
Human stem cells divide rapidly and adapt easily to new environments, making them ideal for a wide range of research applications. In acquiring the tissue, however, agencies like the FDA run into a problem: federal law prohibits the sale or trade of fetal tissue for profit, and donations from hospitals and university labs are unreliable.
Since 2010, a number of ‘tissue brokers’ have stepped in to play middleman between abortion clinics and scientists. ABR denies charging money for the fetuses, but its own documents say that it pays clinics “a nominal fee” for the remains, and charges the FDA and other clients a markup for the service.