The National Institute for Health (NIH) has quietly directly their researchers to stop the procurement of fetal tissue for use in some medical experiments. One of the most common uses for preborn tissue is the creation of “humanized mice,” which are mostly used in medical experiments to help find a cure for HIV. This fetal tissue is often procured from abortions completed at places like Planned Parenthood.
For pro-life proponents, this is great news. The desire to find a cure for certain diseases is admirable, but it should not come at the cost of preborn babies that have been aborted from women who are often in vulnerable situations.
The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the NIH, is also publishing a notice of intent. This action invites various researchers to submit proposals that will explore tissue alternatives that will mimic human embryonic development and biology for medical testing in order to make up for discontinuing the use of fetal tissue.
Although it hasn’t stopped the use of preborn tissue in research completely, it’s a good start.
Currently, medical research is using what they call “humanized mice.” These are mice that have been genetically modified to mimic the human immune system so that scientists can test how the immune system responds to certain treatments and diseases. These animals are mostly used by researchers trying to cure HIV.
The problem with using animals like humanized mice is that it goes one step too far—it manipulates the genetics of mice in order to make them mimic a human immune system. That goes beyond merely testing a treatment or developing a vaccine. The process devalues human life by treating the bodies of preborn babies lost to abortion as merely lab specimens ripe for experimentation.
This is just an initial decision, and there are still projects that use aborted human tissue. In 2018, the NIH estimates that $103 million was spent on procuring aborted preborn tissue for research. There is no reason why your tax dollars should fund such projects, especially when there are other test tissues that could be used and treatments that have already been created.
An example of this redundancy is the recent experiments using humanized mice to test the pathogenicity of the Ebola and Marburg viruses. Both of these viruses can be deadly, with Ebola being especially vicious, but the testing is likely unnecessary. A vaccine and treatment already exists for Ebola, and although it is still largely in the testing phase it is currently being used for the most recent outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The viruses are also fairly rare and localized in Africa, so why do researchers need aborted human tissue for more testing? It’s unnecessary.
Although the NIH has made a great step, there are still third-parties interested in continuing with this questionable research, especially in the LGBTQ communities because of HIV. The pursuit of science and medical breakthroughs should not come at the expense of babies aborted by women who are often in a vulnerable state. Abortion may be legal but that doesn’t mean that abortionists and organizations like Planned Parenthood should get to profit off the remains.