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University defends using aborted baby tissues in experiments with mice

Experiments are mandated by federal contract

The University of California, San Francisco, is defending its use of aborted baby body parts in its experiments to “humanize mice,” with the school claiming that the use of aborted fetal tissue to conduct scientific research is in keeping with the university’s mission.

The experiments involve scientists grafting tissue from aborted human babies into mice. CNSNews.com reported that a federal contract between the National Institutes of Health and the university “requires UCSF to obtain body parts from unborn babies to make at least two types of ‘humanized mice’.”

Under a section stipulating the terms of a “humanized mouse models for HIV therapeutics development” experiment, the contract dictates that the university must “obtain the necessary human fetal tissues for use under the contract, consistently and reliably, and in accordance with all applicable Federal, State, and Local guidelines and regulations regarding the use of human fetal tissues.”

The contract mandates that upwards of several dozen mice per month be produced “engrafted with tissue from a single donor.” The term “donor” in this case refers to an aborted baby.

After numerous attempts to get in touch with a representative from the school, spokeswoman Laura Kurtzman provided The College Fix with the university’s statement on the issue.

“The University of California conducts research using fetal tissue that is vital to finding treatments and cures for a wide variety of adult and childhood diseases and medical conditions. This research is conducted in full compliance with federal and state law and is in keeping with the university’s education, research and public service missions,” the statement reads.

“Since the 1930s, fetal tissue has been a critical component of biomedical science and breakthroughs that fundamentally changed the practice of medicine. Its importance to researchers today has not diminished, and it is still essential to ensuring that cells and tissues created from stem cells are correct,” it continues.

The office of the university’s chancellor, Sam Hawgood, did not respond to a request for comment on the issue.

Contacted via Facebook message, the anti-abortion group Pro-Life San Francisco told The Fix: “We are totally aware [of the experiments] and are following this story as well. We absolutely condemn the use of fetal tissue for humanizing mice and we are hoping to make contact with UCSF to discuss our concerns.”

“While we are completely sympathetic to the concern of those who would potentially benefit from this research, it doesn’t justify the fact that these young humans are being marginalized, dehumanized, killed, and used for this research. They are victims and must be acknowledged as such,” the group added.

Aborted fetal remains were in the news several years ago when undercover videos shot by the Center for Medical Progress revealed Planned Parenthood officials apparently admitting to violations of federal law regarding the sale of aborted baby remains.

After those videos were released, at least one university, Colorado State, “stopped purchasing fetal tissue, and in particular cut ties with StemExpress,” the organization that had allegedly been purchasing the aborted baby remains from Planned Parenthood.

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

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

IMAGE: Olga Dobrikova / Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
Chase Watkins -- Utah Valley University