The Trump administration has severed its connection with a company that was linked to the scandal in which Planned Parenthood harvested the parts of aborted children to sell to researchers.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced the decision on Monday.
“After a recent review of a contract between Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. and the Food and Drug Administration to provide human fetal tissue to develop testing protocols, HHS was not sufficiently assured that the contract included the appropriate protections applicable to fetal tissue research or met all other procurement requirements. As a result, that contract has been terminated,” HHS said in a statement.
The company was working with the Food and Drug Administration, NBC reported, in a deal that became public in August, creating a firestorm of protest from some pro-life groups.
Last week, 85 members of Congress made their concerns about the contract known to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb.
“We are alarmed that the FDA has continued to award contracts to ABR for the procurement of human fetal tissue,” the letter said.
“Unborn children are not commodities to be bought and sold,” it continued. “The practice of conducting research using the body parts of children whose lives have been violently ended by abortion is abhorrent.”
The statement issued to announce the end of the ABR contract said HHS is reviewing all aspects of its human fetal tissue purchases “to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal tissue research laws and regulations.”
HHS also said it was “continuing to review whether adequate alternatives exist to the use of human fetal tissue in HHS funded research and will ensure that efforts to develop such alternatives are funded and accelerated.”
The Trump Administration has ended a contract with a company that harvested fetal tissue from aborted babies.
This is a great step in the right direction of completely halting federal funding from supporting this grotesque practice. https://t.co/lF5kXKwa4z
— Rep. Doug Lamborn (@RepDLamborn) September 25, 2018
The announcement was received with mixed grades by David Daleiden at the Center for Medical Progress, which in 2015 produced a series of undercover videos showing the extent of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in selling the parts of the children who were aborted.
“So long as HHS trades taxpayer dollars for freshly-aborted baby body parts, the U.S. government is setting its own abortion quotas and sending the message that these children are worth more dead than alive,” he said in a statement, which said the contract with ABR “never should have been signed in the first place.”
“HHS has taken a small first step to stop the epidemic of trafficking tiny baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains from late-term abortion clinics into government-sponsored laboratories for taxpayer-funded experimentation,” the statement said.
We're calling on @SecAzar to immediately stop funding research that uses aborted baby organs and tissue purchased from the abortion industry — and instead fund ethical alternatives that *actually* produce successful therapies for patients. https://t.co/CrkZEb0IIE #ProLife
— Susan B. Anthony List (@SBAList) September 25, 2018
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said the action is a good step, but many more are needed.
“Canceling a single contract and conducting a review is a small step forward, but overall is completely inadequate,” she said.
In 2017, the Justice Department began investigating Planned Parenthood’s sales of fetal issue, The New York Times reported.
Daleiden said that the Justice Department must finish the job HHS started and “follow through on the criminal referrals” for entities that were selling fetal tissue from aborted children.
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