An article in the Journal of Clinical Pathology describes how the bodies of aborted babies were cut up for body parts, which were then shipped to researchers around the world:
“Fetuses are collected within the London area and brought back to the hospital as rapidly as possible for immediate dissection by surgical theatre techniques in a sterile room…Each fetus is given a number, and the tissues are distributed, the names of each of the recipients being recorded.”
Sylvia D. Lawlor “Conception and Development of Fetal Tissue Bank” Journal of Clinical Pathology 1981
One article discussed the H. Ronald Zielke Brain and Tissue Bank for Developmental Disorders, hosted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine. It contains fetal tissue.
“According to the bank’s 234-page “Catalog of Available Tissue,” updated July 1, it also stores tissue from hundreds of fetuses, including those with chromosomal disorders, anencephaly (a brain malformation)—and many with no disorders at all, marked as “control” tissue and spanning ages 10 to 39 weeks.”
How does it get this “tissue”?
“Jennifer Boulanger of the Allentown Women’s Center in Allentown, Pa., said her clinic supplies tissue to the University of Washington. She said her clinic is not paid for the donations, but the university provides her staff with the supplies needed to collect and ship the specimens….To ensure tissue freshness, “the specimens are FedExed overnight” to Seattle, …The recipient, named misleadingly the Birth Defects Research Laboratory at the University of Washington in Seattle, has been sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for over four decades. It’s known within the research community as a top government distributor of fetal tissue. Last year the Puget Sound Business Journal stated the lab “in 2009 filled more than 4,400 requests for fetal tissue and cell lines.”… To date, it has retrieved the products of 22,000 pregnancies. According to a description the lab provided in its most recent grant applications, an increase in nonsurgical abortion methods has “created new obstacles to obtaining sufficient amounts of high quality tissue. To overcome these problems and meet increasing demand, the Laboratory has developed new relationships with both local and distant clinics.”
Gerald R Cunha, University of California, took the reproductive tracts from aborted fetuses and transplanted them into mice and performed other experiments using the body parts of aborted children. He explains why he prefers using aborted babies instead of animals for research.
“There are animal models for studying everything we do. It’s likely we won’t learn anything new [by working on animals]. [But] when you get a positive result in a human, you can be sure.”
So many people in the pro-choice side argue that the unborn baby is not human. In reality, scientists and doctors are completely aware that unborn babies are fully human and fully alive.
Suzanne M Rini. Beyond Abortion: a Chronicle of Fetal Experimentation. (Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, 1988) 43
Ever since abortion was legalized, there has been debate over whether or not the bodies of aborted babies can be used for research purposes. In America of 2012, there are laws that govern the use of fetal tissue. These laws prohibit abortion clinics for making money from selling the bodies of aborted babies. However, there are loopholes in the law that allow clinics to make money off the bodies of aborted children under certain circumstances. Go here to learn more.
The following testimony was presented to the US Supreme Court by the Atty. Gen. of Connecticut with his March 14, 1973 petition for rehearing the appeals of Markle v. Abele (72 – 56 and 72 – 730).
Q: Are you a medical doctor?
Q: At any time did you ever observe abortions at Yale – New Haven hospital?
Q: Would you please tell us what, if anything, you observed?
A: There are two types of abortions that I have witnessed, one is what they call a hysterotomy when the fetus is much bigger and the pregnancy is much more advanced… This fetus is a fairly well formed fetus and has a beating heart, not necessarily breathing but the heart is beating and it is alive at the time it is taken out. This is put in some kind of the container and, of course, after it has been detached from the womb it obviously dies off in time. I don’t particularly witness that moment when they take the last heartbeat, we don’t go into the detail of monitoring that.
Q: Can you give any further details as to how the baby appears once the incision is made and from the time it is taken out?
A: The baby appears well formed, it has all its hands and feet and the mouth and ears and the nose and eyes, and all that.
Q: Doctor, can you tell us what movements, if any, you can observe in such a baby?
A: There are a few purposeless movements of the extremities… Without any purpose, they have this sort of gasping action, sort of moving their limbs about, they call it purposeless, there is no purpose for it, it gives you an idea that some of the musculature is already developed.
Q: Are there movements at the time it is put in a container? [After the umbilical cord is cut]
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: 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 this from whom, a nurse?
A: From the 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: Were there any excretions at all?
A: Excretions, urine, yes.
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 he couldn’t stand it.
Q: Do you know whether or not this baby was given any anesthesia when the operation was done?
A: I don’t think so…
Suzanne M Rini. Beyond Abortion: a Chronicle of Fetal Experimentation. (Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, 1988) pages 76 to 78
The availability of abortion has spawned another business. Mainly, the selling of organs and body parts of aborted babies to research labs.
Technically, it is against the law for any clinic to sell fetal remains for money. The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 saw to this. The act makes it unlawful “to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.”
However, many abortion clinics are able to get around this law. In the paper “Arguments Against Fetal Tissue Trafficking” the author explains how clinics circumvent the law.
“. . . The research institutes and the abortion clinics have joined with a third party, the fetal tissue wholesaler. The fetal tissue wholesaler pays the abortion clinics a “site fee” to place employees, known as “procurement agents,” who collect various body parts of the aborted fetuses as soon as the abortion process is finished and ship them to various research institutes. By having free access to all the desirable fetal tissue, these agents take the body parts that are requested to various research laboratories and government agencies.
The wholesaler is technically renting the space to harvest the body parts rather than paying for the tissue itself. The abortionist then “donates” the tissues to the wholesalers. At the other end of the transaction, the wholesaler will “donate” the fetal material to researchers but bill them for the cost of retrieval. Thus the business deal is complete.“
An example of this is found in a book called “Lovejoy: A Year in the Life of an Abortion Clinic.” It is not a pro-life book. Instead, it is intended as a balanced work of reference.
From Lovejoy: A Year in the Life of an Abortion Clinic (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1996) by Peter Korn. (p 236-237) From the author’s observation:
“Although the operation is over, the fetus is still a matter of concern. This patient, like most, has signed an extra consent form allowing the extracted material to be used for medical research. Rhonda, a medical assistant who also works for a biological supply company, takes the surgical tray in another room where she uses a plastic colander to strain out the blood, leaving only the separated parts of the fetus. These she places in a glass dish, taking a moment to measure one of the feet against a transparent plastic ruler to establish exact gestational age. Earlier in the day she received her regular fax detailing what body parts are needed by which researchers around the country. The researchers specify preferences for age and, in some cases, sex. Liver, spleen, pancreas, and brain are the organs most often requested…”
Planned Parenthood also has a reference to donating fetal tissue on their website. Under the heading of “Donating Fetal Tissue for Medical Treatment and Research.”
“Decisions about donating human tissue are never taken lightly or made easily. Most agree that such decisions reflect generosity, courage, and the hope that some humanitarian good may come out of an unintended pregnancy.”
Note that the word “donating” is used. The woman is “donating” the tissue. Planned Parenthood implies that no money will be involved in the “donating” of fetal organs and parts. Yet Planned Parenthood makes money due to the method listed above. This is possible because the NIH Revitalization Act exempts “reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue” allowing a loophole so that everyone can make money -except the woman involved.
One e-mail transmission, made public by American Life League, was intercepted and published:
“Human embryonic and fetal tissues are available from the Central Laboratory for Human Embryology at the University of Washington. The laboratory, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health, can supply tissue from normal of [sic] abnormal embryos and fetuses of desired gestational ages between 40 days and term.
Specimens are obtained within minutes of passage and tissues are aseptically identified, staged and immediately processed according to the requirements of individual investigators.
Presently, processing methods include immediate fixation, snap fixation, snap freezing in liquid nitrogen, and placement in balanced salt solutions or media designated and/or supplied by investigators. Specimens are shipped by overnight express, arriving the day following procurement. The laboratory can also supply serial sections of human embryos that have been preserved in methyl Carnoy’s fixative, embedded in paraffin and sectioned at 5 microns. Inquiries are directed to Alan G. Fantel, Ph.D., Department of Pediatrics RD-20, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195.”
The former was a copy of e-mail transmission as printed out and mailed to A.L.L. J. Brown, Communique, May 13, 1994, p. 3
The following brochure was obtained from a fetal tissue wholesaler called Opening Lines is presented here.
This is a price list brochure of how much each piece of an aborted baby is worth. This is a real price list obtained directly from Opening Lines.
On an ironic note, many pro-choicers state that fetuses are not human beings or are merely blobs (or as one pro-choicer of my acquaintance said “A smear on a test tube.”) So how is it that laboratories can market organs from aborted babies and experiment on them precisely because they are human? If a fetus is nothing, a product of conception, or cluster of cells, how can scientists obtain human organs from them?
Pro-lifers have also unearthed order forms sent to abortion clinics. One such form quoted British Columbia’s Dr. Vanugram Venkatesh asking for an international Fed-Ex shipment of:
“16-24 week lungs (trachea not required)” to study “molecular mechanisms of fluid reabsorption in human fetal lung.”
The order also said simply, “Bill our account.”
Here is a copied order that one Planned Parenthood clinic received.
Here is an excerpt from an advertisement in the March 1994 NIH Guide. (The National Institutes for Health operate a Laboratory for Embryology at the University of Washington in Seattle that runs a 24- hour collection service at abortion clinics.)
“Department of Pediatrics, RD-20
“Seattle, WA 98195.”
This is an opportunity to make a difference . . . and it can be beneficial to your clinic. . . .
“1) Consultative and Diagnostic Pathology will lease space from your facility to perform the harvesting and distribution of tissue. The revenue generated from the lease can be used to offset your clinic’s overhead.
“2) Consultative and Diagnostic Pathology can train your staff to harvest and process fetal tissue. Based on your volume we will reimburse part or all of your employee’s salary, thereby reducing your overhead.”
The following incident was reported in “When Abortion Fails: The Unborn’s Uncertain Destiny” by Nick Thimmesch (Life Cycle Books)
Dr. Sophie Perry, director of the Department of Pathology at the District of Columbia General Hospital revealed to the press that the staff employees of that department had collected more than $68,000 dollars from commercial firms for the organs of stillborns and dead premature babies, some from “late term elective abortions.” A hospital official later admitted that the earnings were used to buy a television set for the lounge, to cover expenses for physicians attending conventions, and for soft drinks and cookies for visiting professors.”
An article on abortion recounts the following:
“Fetal skin specimens were used by Dr. Karen Holbrook of the University of Washington, Seattle, and her study of “Fetal Skin Biology” for her work she was granted $239,740 in 1984 to 1985. 60 human fetuses or embryos.”
When asked about how the babies were obtained for research, Dr. Holbrook said:
“Hopefully they are not born alive. It’s better to avoid that. The skin is taken after fetal demise.”
Olga Fairfax, “101 Uses for a Dead (or Alive) Baby” ALL About Issues 1984, 6 – 7
20/20 did a investigation of Dr. Miles Jones, Missouri pathologist whose company, Opening Lines, procures fetal tissue from clinics and ships it to research labs. The producer went undercover.
“It’s market force. It’s what you can sell it for. If you control the flow, it’s probably the equivalent the invention of the assembly line.”
Says Dr. Miles Jones, Missouri pathologist who wants to open an abortion clinic in Mexico so he can get a greater supply fetal tissue
“While ABC’s program was an eye-opener for many, it failed to air [the investigator]’s eyewitness accounts of babies who were dissected and their organs harvested while still functioning.. In these cases, according to the eyewitnesses, abortions were not performed – instead, babies were born alive in order to procure undamaged fetal specimens.”
“ABC Airs Bogus Report on Fetal Tissue Marketing” Washington: American Life League press release,, March 9, 2000
Quoted in Randy Alcorn “Pro-life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments” (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, 2000) 34-35
With no change in the laws, no media coverage, and no public outcry, such practices go on today.