With the Trump administration seemingly on the outs, a recent report has revealed that controversial human fetal tissue experimentation is still thriving.
A report from the University of Pittsburgh recently published in Scientific Reports revealed researchers’ efforts to develop “humanized mice” by transplanting fetal body parts onto rodents.
The material necessary to create skin grafts on the rodents was procured by scalping children who were aborted at 18 to 20 weeks gestation.
While the Department of Health and Human Services announced in June 2019 that it would stop the flow of federal funds to all projects requiring new fetal tissue from elective abortions, studies like the one at the University of Pittsburgh have persisted.
This is not the first time the public has had their attention drawn to the way aborted remains are used in American medical research.
In 2015, pro-life activist David Daleiden and his team at the Center for Medical Progress raised ethical concerns about the profit incentives attached to fetal tissue trafficking after their undercover investigation into Planned Parenthood showed high-ranking officials in the organization illegally negotiating the sale of aborted body parts.
For someone like Daleiden, who has been following fetal trafficking issues for years now, the report from the University of Pittsburgh is as unsurprising as it is disheartening.
“I’ve known since 2012, 2011 that StemExpress, for example, was selling scalps from aborted infants at Planned Parenthood,” Daleiden told The Western Journal. “And Advanced Bioscience Resources was doing it before them.”
“But there is something especially shocking and heartbreaking and also outrageous about the fetal scalping experiments at the University of Pittsburgh that were funded by the [National Institutes of Health] as recently as the past two years … coming to light this past week at the same time that the Trump administration was hosting a pro-life victory or a ‘Life Is Winning’ event at the White House.”
During the Dec. 16 event, which was intended to celebrate the pro-life accomplishments of the Trump administration, Vice President Mike Pence referenced CMP’s work, calling Planned Parenthood’s conduct “unconscionable.”
The gesture did not, however, stop Daleiden from contending that the Trump Department of Justice could be taking stronger action against experiments like those conducted in Pittsburgh.
The DOJ announced in mid-December that it was filing a conscience lawsuit against the University of Vermont Medical Center for allegedly forcing a nurse to participate in an abortion against her will.
Daleiden, however, was less than convinced that this was anything more than a start on the road to fetal tissue research restriction.
“Meanwhile, we find out that they’re scalping infants and taking — they’ve described it as full thickness — full thickness — fetal skin off of the backs of 5-month-old aborted children in Pittsburgh with taxpayer dollars, talking about how they have to scrape out the bottom layer of fat so that they can stitch the baby’s skin onto lab rats,” Daleiden said.
Whether it be from places like Planned Parenthood and the University of Pittsburgh or the Trump administration itself, the activist suggested that the general public was owed answers as to how “barbaric projects like this have slipped through the cracks.”
He went on to question the lack of DOJ suits filed in Pittsburgh, San Diego and Houston, as well as the department’s hesitance to complete former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ fetal tissue trafficking investigation.
While the Trump administration has gained considerable ground with its Mexico City Policy repeal and Title X funding reform, Daleiden went so far as to say he was “shocked” and “outraged” that more had not been done to prevent the bodies of aborted children from being exploited.
And he was not without ideas as to what has been responsible for the administration’s shortcomings, citing the “deep state” as a possible explanation.
In light of the scandal his organization’s undercover videos brought on the abortion industry, the activist said pro-abortion forces like former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards had often secured cover with the “extra political capital” that came with contacts at the NIH and HHS.
Shortly after CMP’s videos were released, for instance, Richards published a letter invoking the name of NIH director Francis Collins as the organization pushed back against negative press.
Daleiden went on to say the Trump administration should not use these obstacles as an “excuse” to refrain from remaining active on the pro-life front, however.
With many of the Trump administration’s pro-life victories secured through the use of executive action, Daleiden raised concerns about the ease with which a Biden administration could overturn recent progress — particularly with presumptive Vice President-elect Kamala Harris so close to the policy process.
“[Harris] is an extremist threat to our American rights and our American values,” Daleiden said. “She is willing to abuse her powers in order to silence dissenting voices, in order to punish opposing viewpoints and in order to basically rig the system to protect her political allies and her political patrons like Planned Parenthood in the abortion industry.”
Harris’ deep ties to the abortion industry were exposed in a motion the Thomas More Society filed on behalf of Daleiden to “quash and traverse” a search warrant Harris had ordered against him in 2016 when she was still the attorney general of California.
The motion noted that Planned Parenthood executives communicated with Harris’ office to determine how a warrant might be obtained to search Daleiden’s apartment for evidence related to CMP’s undercover investigation.
Harris complied and, instead of pursuing charges against Planned Parenthood, pushed for an investigation into Daleiden and his fellow CMP activist Sandra Merritt — an action Harris’ successor, Xavier Becerra, later followed through on, issuing 15 criminal charges for the pair.
Coincidentally, presumptive President-elect Joe Biden announced his intention to appoint Becerra as HHS secretary, tying at least two members of a potential Biden administration to the fetal tissue trafficking scandal Daleiden uncovered.
“Kamala Harris decided to weaponize the powers of law enforcement in California — to punish me for speaking the truth about Planned Parenthood and the fetal trafficking crimes,” Daleiden said.
“If a Vice President Kamala Harris had an event like Vice President Mike Pence had last week, we all know that Harris and her minions would be announcing far greater actions, far more consequential and lasting initiatives than the little participation trophies that pro-lifers were given last week.”
According to Vote Smart, Harris has a 100 percent rating from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
The incoming administration’s strong backing from the abortion industry has led Daleiden to push more concrete progress from Trump on the pro-life front.
“Do we believe in protecting infants as much as they believe in butchering them?” Daleiden said. “That’s what it really comes down to. And, you know, the next month, I think is going to show that.”
“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing,” Daleiden said, relating the recent controversy in Pittsburgh to the case of Kermit Gosnell, a Pennsylvania abortionist found responsible for the deaths of one woman and multiple infants born alive at the unsanitary clinic he operated for years.
An initial grand jury report noted that local politicians and public health officials had, for “political reasons,” ended safety inspections of abortion clinics, calling such regulations a “barrier” to women.
The lack of inspection, however, left Gosnell unchecked until 2010, when evidence of the murders was discovered during an unrelated drug raid.
The grand jury report also suggested the reason Gosnell’s practice went unscrutinized for so long was that the women were low-income minorities and their babies were victims with no names.
Similar factors, Daleiden suspects, were at work in Pittsburgh.
“I mean, that’s why I did the fetal trafficking investigation in the first place,” he said. “I couldn’t get over the paradox that the body parts are only valuable to sell for Planned Parenthood precisely because they’re human body parts and they’re human beings just like us.”
“They know the truth about human development and about human biology. The scientists know all of this … but for whatever reason, they’re comfortable living this lie,” he added.
“That means that they can buy and sell the body parts of the human baby and use it for experiments as if they’re entitled to it, as if they own it. … I think that’s how it’s gotten that bad — because nobody has had enough will yet to step forward and say, ‘This is wrong. You can’t treat people this way.’”
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