Researcher defends doing experiments on living aborted babies

Dr. Peter A. J. Adam, fetal researcher, on experiments using living preborn and aborted babies:

“Whose rights are we going to protect when we’ve already decided the fetus won’t live?”

Medical World News, June 8 1973 p 21

Curt Young The Least of These: What Everyone Should Know about Abortion (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1984) 108


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Scientist advocates using eggs from aborted babies’ ovaries to make babies

In an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics, Jonathan M Berkowitz advocates using the egg cells in the ovaries of female aborted babies to help infertile couples have children. He wants to develop embryos that are from the eggs of aborted babies and the sperm of donors. In this way, an aborted baby would be the biological mother of the child. 

Berkowitz writes:

“Fetal egg children will be similar in many ways to children who are adopted… Successful child development is dependent more upon the quality of parenting than the genealogical ties a child has with her parents. Given the considerations, concerns over the possible psychological ramifications of the FEC are probably exaggerated… Better this child know his special circumstances at an early age…

There is no medical evidence which suggests that fetal ovaries or eggs are inferior to the eggs present in a healthy adult female… It is irrelevant who the genetic or biological mother of a child is. In the case of adopted children, who are analogous to potential FEC, there is ample evidence in the literature that adoption in and of itself is not detrimental… Given the success of adoption and the similarities of adopted children to FEC, one can reasonably conclude that concerns of psychological harm resulting from a child knowing his mother was an aborted fetus are overestimated…

Much of the resistance to FOT stems from the procedure’s novelty. Throughout the 20th century many of our ideas as to what is possible and hence normal have been shattered. Think of the computer user, in 1980; his 64 KB monster sitting mightily on the desk, confronted by the 33 MHz, 200 MB laptop. Remember the uproar in 1978 with the birth of Louise Brown, the world’s first “test tube baby.” It will not be hard to envision that once established, FOT and FEC … will gain… a well-deserved measure of respectability.”

Jonathan M Berkowitz “Mummy Was a Fetus: Motherhood and Fetal Ovarian Transplantation” Journal of Medical Ethics 21:298 – 304, October 1995

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Doctor testifies about removal of living aborted baby’s organs

Fetal tissue research is not a new thing in the 21st century. Fetal organs have been used for experiments even before abortion became legal. In 1973 the State of Connecticut submitted a written interview to the Supreme Court as evidence in an abortion-related case. Dr. Baker (a pseudonym) was asked about medical events at the Yale-New Haven Medical Center.

Q: Was there a case where some type of surgical procedure was performed on a baby after induced abortion?

A: I did not actually observe the operation itself.

Q: Can you tell us anything about it, to the extent that you know?

A: A baby was aborted by hysterotomy. Then it was taken to another room with a medical student.

Q: Did you first observe the baby being taken out of the mother?

A: Yes.

Q: What, if anything, happened then that you observed?

A: It was taken out of the room. Then this medical student followed it.

Q: Do you know why it was taken out of the room?

A: Well, they wanted to get something out of it.

Q: How did you know they were trying to get something out of it?

A: That’s what they said. I just overheard it. They were going to get some kind of abdominal organ, I think it was the liver. I was not very sure.

Q: You overheard from whom, a nurse?

A: From a doctor.

Q: Was this the doctor that was presumably going to take this liver or whatever it was?

A: Yes, and the obstetrician that was performing the operation.

Q: When it was taken out of the room, did it have any movements?

A: It had some movements.

Q: Doctor, prior to the infant leaving the room, did it do anything noteworthy? Any noteworthy bodily functions?

A: Some form of movements of the arm.

Q: Was there any excretions at all?

A: Excretions, urine, yes.

Q: Tell us about that. Can you give us the details?

A: Well I would say when they picked this fetus up by the feet I could see that he urinated, he was a male infant.

Q: It was urinating?

A: Yes

Q: You’re sure of that?

A: Yes.

Q: What, if anything, did they do with the baby afterwards that you observed? They took it out of the room?

A: They just took it out of the room immediately.

Q: Then what, if anything, happened that you observed?

A: Nothing else. It was taken out of the room and I didn’t see it.

Q: Did a medical student accompany it out of the room?

A: The medical student went out.

Q: Then what, if anything, occurred?….

A: The lady doctor proceeded to open the abdomen of the fetus.

Q: You did not see this yourself?

A: No.

Q: This is based on what type of information, if any?

A: On what the medical student told me.

Q: Can you describe how the medical student appeared when he returned?

A: He was sort of pale, he said he felt sort of sick in his stomach. That’s why he left the room and went back to the operating room where I was.

Q: Do you recall what, if anything, the medical student said?

A: He just said that he couldn’t stand it.

Q: Did he show any fear at the sight of blood prior to this incident?

A: No.

Curt Young The Least of These: What Everyone Should Know about Abortion (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1984) 103-104

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Doctor defends doing experiments on living aborted babies

Dr. Kirt Hirshorn of New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, on research using living aborted babies :

“I don’t think [research on an aborted baby, which he calls a “nonviable fetus”] is unethical. It’s not possible to make the fetus into a child, therefore we can consider it nothing more than a piece of tissue.”

Steven Maynard – Moody The Dilemma of the Fetus: Fetal Research, Medical Progress, and Moral Politics (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995)  25

Doctor experimenting on living aborted baby in perfusion tank
Doctor experimenting on living aborted baby in perfusion tank
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Doctor sees living preborn child from ectopic pregnancy

Dr. Paul Rockwell of New York described a two month old fetus who was aborted due to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy:

“The tiny human was perfectly developed, with long tapering fingers, feet, and toes. It was almost transparent, as regards the skin, and the delicate arteries and veins were prominent to the ends of the fingers. The baby was extremely alive and swam about the sac approximately one time per second, with a natural swimmer’s stroke… When the sac was opened, the tiny human immediately lost its life.”

Cited in “Pro-Life News” Right to Life Newsletter, NSW Vol. 2, no. 14, October 1980


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Medical researchers comment on aborted baby experiments

From two prominent medical researchers, William Gaylin and Marc Laape (president and associate for biological sciences at the Hastings Institute):

“Since we know we are going to destroy, dismember and discard the fetus in a procedure known as abortion, it seems a small indignity to expose it to rubella vaccine just prior to that termination. The medical ethic ‘do no harm’ would, of course, be violated but we have already violated that principle when we accepted the concept of abortion. The ultimate harm of destroying the fetus trivializes that which precedes it.”

“Fetal Politics: The Debate on Experimenting with the Unborn.” Atlantic Monthly, May 1975.

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Pro-Abortion activist – we can “respect” embryos and still kill them

From one supporter of research on preborn human beings:

“We will argue that a genuine moral respect for embryos can be joined – without incongruity, but not without careful attention to how that respect is displayed – with their use and destruction in legitimate research… [There is] moral compatibility between respecting something and destroying it…

Sometimes people destroy something because they respect it, as when a sacred artifact is destroyed to prevent its being treated in a profane way. In contrast, embryos are destroyed in the course of research in spite of the respect they deserve. Destroying an object in spite of the respect it is owed raises the tension we seek to resolve….

There is no inherent conceptual contradiction or severe moral dilemma involved in the general idea of showing respect for what one destroys… Even the gains reaped through its destruction do not preclude honest and open acknowledgment of the regret and loss one should feel about it.…

Handling extracorporeal embryos with respect in the lab should never be an empty or insincere gesture but might include… disposing of the remains of used embryos in a way respectful of their status (for example, the remains may be treated as if they were corpses and be buried or cremated).

Thus while the embryo’s moral status need not prevent us from killing it… it requires that the destruction be for justifiable reasons, and that the destruction and eventual disposal in some way reflect the seriousness of the event…

Given the minimal but real moral respect owed to an embryo, there can be, and ought to be, some display of respect whenever they are used, but that the destruction of an embryo need not display disrespect for it.”

Michael J Meyer and Lawrence J Nelson “Respecting What We Destroy: Reflections on Human Embryo Research” Hastings Center Report January/February 2001

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54 aborted babies dissected for study

Pro-life activist William Brennan describes a study that took place in the 1970s:

In an experiment on human sexual development in Canada, during the 1970s, aborted babies were dissected of their testes, ovaries and adrenals. 54 babies were involved – 33 males and 21 females ranging in age from 10 to 25 weeks gestation. The organs were “minced, homogenized, and subjected to histochemical analysis.” It was meant to learn about “the onset of sexual differentiation by comparing concentration of sex steroids in fetal testes with those in the ovaries and adrenals.”

William Brennan The Abortion Holocaust: Today’s Final Solution (St. Louis, Missouri, 1983) 61

The study referred to was:

FI Reyes JSD Winter and C Fairman “Studies on Human Sexual Development I Fetal Gonadal and Adrenal Sex Steroids” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 37 (July 1973): 74-78

10 weeks
10 weeks
24 weeks
24 weeks
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Study with aborted babies “raised no eyebrows”

Pro-Life author William Brennan wrote about a study that was done using aborted babies:

14 weeks
14 weeks

“At a combined meeting of the American Pediatric Society and the Society for Pediatric Research held in San Francisco, California (May 1973) Dr. Peter Adam and colleagues presented a paper containing details about the procedure used to cut off the heads of aborted babies for the purpose of studying fetal brain metabolism. Some of the leading pediatricians and pediatric surgeons in America heard Dr. Adam’s disclosures “No one even raised an eyebrow” among those in attendance.”

This was written about in “Post-Abortion Fetal Study Stirs Storm” Medical World News June 8, 1973, p 21

The exact quote comes from William Brennan The Abortion Holocaust: Today’s Final Solution (St. Louis, Missouri, 1983) 69

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In experiment aborted baby lived 5 hours

In the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, there was an article about a baby who was aborted alive and attached to an artificial placenta. The baby lived for 5 hours.

From the article:

“Irregular gasping movements, twice a minute, occurred in the middle of the experiment, but there was no proper respiration. Once the perfusion was stopped, however, the gasping respiratory efforts increased to 8 to 10 per minute. The fetus died 21 minutes after leaving the circuit.”

Geoffrey Chamberlain “An Artificial Placenta: The Development of an Extra-corporeal System for Maintenance of Immature Infants with Respiratory Problems” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 100 (March 1, 1968): 624\

19 week fetus/preborn baby
19 week fetus/preborn baby
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