Pro-Choice Activists Argue About Use of Fetal Tissue in Research

Author Leslie Cannold interviewed pro-choice activists. She recounts one conversation with them. All of the women quoted are pro-abortion:

“The following conversation, between myself, Lisa, Carey, and Lucy, began after I raised the question of medical science’s use of fetal tissue to treat those suffering from Parkinson’s disease:…

Carey: I’m not saying I’d say no, I’m just saying that you have to ask the woman if it’s okay to use the aborted tissue!

Lucy: But if it’s in the rubbish bin, if she’s just thinking it’s going in the bin…

Lisa: But you can’t take it home, can you?

Lucy: You can’t take it home, and they can use it… It has been created especially for science to use.

Carey: I think that is outrageous, absolutely outrageous… Not even asking permission.

Lucy: But still, it’s like they’re taking out your appendix and throwing it in the rubbish. You’re throwing it in the rubbish, you haven’t said you want it all prettied up and put in a nice grave and buried.

Lisa: No way, they can’t just take it.

Lucy: OK, but your actual appendix is diced out, and the fetus is diced out. It’s out of you, it’s not part of you. I mean it’s gone, you’ve chosen to murder. You’ve killed that child, it’s gone.

Lisa: If they’re doing stuff like that, I’m going to start taking my Tupperware container with me.

Carey: Oh, absolutely.

Lucy: So you think you have a right to the fetus, even if you’ve just “tossed it in the bin”?

Carey: The whole handling of the abortion issue is wrong. You don’t toss it in the garbage. I mean, I’ve had an abortion, it was an incredibly painful experience.

I didn’t toss it in the garbage. And I find it really distressing to hear it referred to that way. And that others think they have a right to use my fetus.

You’re saying toss it in the garbage. I didn’t toss it in the garbage.

Lucy: OK, what did you do?

Carey: It sounds very callous and my decision was not a callous one. It was not unthought about, it was not clear, and it certainly wasn’t indifferent.

Part of your abortion decision is that it’s not going to be used as fetal tissue [to treat disease] or anything else. The thing is that if somebody asked me can be used as fetal tissue, I’d probably say yes. But not to ask…”

Leslie Cannold The Abortion Myth (Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1998) 34-35

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Author: Sarah

Sarah Terzo is a writer for Live Action and a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians and Consistent Life Network. She lives in NJ.

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