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UC San Francisco is hiding public records on its fetal harvesting practices, pro-life group claims

‘When we win’ in San Francisco, ‘the abortion industry falls everywhere’

The University of California-San Francisco plays an indispensable role in the abortion industry, particularly in late-term abortions and fetal experimentation, according to research by a local pro-life group.

Pro-Life San Francisco debuted a video Wednesday explaining the taxpayer-funded medical school’s political efforts to mainstream abortion, even needlessly gruesome procedures, and train generations of practitioners.

Live! From the Abortion Frontlines” serves as a kickoff of a campaign demanding transparency from UCSF. San Francisco is the “Atlanta of the civil war,” Terrisa Bukovinac, founder and executive director of Pro-Life San Francisco, said after the video premiere on Facebook. “When we win here, the abortion industry falls everywhere.”

Bukovinac is a prominent pro-life atheist who was profiled last fall by Ozy, a new media publication that touts its interviews with “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez before they became famous. It described her as “the left wing pro-lifer” for Ozy’s “Unapologetic” series.

Fetuses for research must be ‘free from abnormalities’ (healthy and viable)

UCSF: An American Horror Story” opens by telling views that the University of California campus is the late-term abortion training capital of the United States, running and funding more than 100 training programs across the country.

Many of the abortions that take place at UCSF are performed after the fetuses are already viable outside of the womb, according to the video.

Eleanor Drey, director of its Women’s Options Center, has spent 19 years there performing abortions and training others in the trade. Her stated goals for clinical activities include working to “maintain and increase the number of abortions we provide.”

Despite being publicly funded, UCSF is “the most politically involved medical institution on the issue of abortion worldwide,” Pro-Life San Francisco says. One of its stated goals is “integrat[ing] abortion into mainstream medical care.”

MORE: UCSF defends using aborted baby tissues in mice experiments

UCSF “has engaged in well-documented, high-profile fetal tissue experiments for decades,” the video says, enabled by Republican as well as Democratic administrations.

The National Institutes of Health had a roughly $14 million contractual agreement with UCSF before the Trump administration ended it. In exchange for approximately $2 million a year, under the contract, UCSF would graft human organs onto mice from two healthy, late-term fetuses the university had obtained each month. (The video doesn’t say whether UCSF paid or otherwise incentivized women to have late-term abortions for the purpose of the contract.)

The fetuses were required to be “free from abnormalities” and not conceived in sexual abuse or violence, meaning they were healthy and viable when aborted for the purpose of experimentation, as the video simplifies the issue.

Bukovinac said that fetuses used for experimentation cannot be euthanized humanely. Because their tissues must be preserved, the fetuses cannot undergo more common abortion procedures.

Preferred harvesting protocol results in born-alive infants half the time

The video includes undercover footage from the Center for Medical Progress that shows a former Planned Parenthood employee explaining that UCSF and New York City’s Planned Parenthood are the only places where late-term abortions are performed without the use of Digoxin or “feticide,” the step in abortion that’s intended to kill a fetus.

Digoxin is a chemical that ensures the fetus’s demise prior to an abortion procedure by killing its cells and “poison[ing]” its tissues, according to the center. That’s why the chemical can’t be used for UCSF’s experimental purposes, according to Pro-Life San Francisco’s video.

Abortions performed without digoxin, particularly late-term abortions, are likely to result in infants born alive, who are then neglected life-saving care.

New York performs these procedures only because “they all trained at UCSF,” the former Planned Parenthood employee said.

MORE: Internal investigation halts university’s experiments with aborted baby parts

UCSF performs late-term abortions through live dismemberment and labor induction, according to Pro-Life San Francisco. The latter procedure results in a born-alive infant about half the time.

Chancellor Sam Hawgood (left) is fully supportive of the practices at the university, Bukovinac said. After the termination of UCSF’s contract with NIH, Hawgood expressed his strong opposition to the decision.

NIH and UCSF still have multiple active contracts involving fetal tissue, totaling nearly $3 million between 2018 and 2019, according to Bukovinac.

She said her organization has filed requests for public documents and information from UCSF under the Freedom of Information Act, but the university has refused to comply and will not reply to followup emails.

Pro-Life San Francisco ends the video with a call to action, asking viewers to demand transparency and safeguards from UCSF, such as an end to live dismemberment and the publication of its protocols for ensuring fetal death, which are currently private.

“Our desire for scientific knowledge should never eclipse conscience,” Bukovinac said.

MORE: University staff used aborted babies’ brains for dissections at ‘summer camp’

IMAGES: Pro-Life San Francisco, UCSF

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About the Author
Julia Johnson - University of South Carolina