In late January, pro-life senators introduced legislation to protect the human remains of aborted babies from medical experimentation for research purposes.

The bill, S. 3713, is titled Protecting Life and Integrity in Research Act of 2024.

If passed, the measure would prohibit the federal government from funding, approving, or in any way supporting research on aborted babies.

The language of S. 3713 expressly forbids medical research organization to solicit or accept aborted fetal human remains as a research donation.

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, is the bill’s primary sponsor. Seventeen other senators join her as cosponsors.

The law regulating human fetal tissue research is complex. Over the years, federal policy has changed significantly based on the views of each presidential administration.

Current federal law permits research on fetal human tissue if human embryos are not intentionally created or destroyed for the explicit purpose of research.

According to those statutory stipulations, it is still lawful for taxpayer dollars to fund research on aborted babies if the aborting mothers consent.

Opponents of this practice contend that taxpayers’ money should not be used to promote unethical research on children.

In a press release, Senator Hyde-Smith called the “harvesting and trafficking” of aborted babies’ body parts “heinous and unethical.”

Proponents tout the possibility of discovering medical advancements by using human fetal tissue, but recent analysis by the Charlotte Lozier Institute calls that assumption into question.

The report concludes that “medical research using ethically non-controversial adult and induced pluripotent stem cells continues to advance in the pursuit of cures and treatments, while embryonic stem cells have largely fallen by the wayside, proving that science does not need to kill in order to cure.”

Since 2015, the National Institutes of Health’s funding for human fetal tissue research has been as high as $115 million annually. Spending for 2024 is projected to be approximately $61 million.

Source: National Institutes of Health

Focus on the Family, as reported by the Daily Citizen, believes human fetal tissue research requiring the destruction of human beings is a violation of the sanctity of life.

“Every human, in every condition from the single cell stage of development to natural death, is made in God’s image and possesses inestimable worth. Our human nature – not our size, level of development, environment or functional capacity – gives us worth and dignity as human beings. Therefore, devaluing and destroying the life of a human embryo opens the door to the devaluing and destroying any human life.”

According to supporters of the legislation, the bill is endorsed by Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, Americans United for Life, Catholic Vote, March for Life Action, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Students for Life Action, and Concerned Women for America LAC.

A companion measure was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last year, H.R. 398, but no action has been taken to advance the legislation.

The Senate bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, where it awaits further action. The Daily Citizen will keep you updated on its progress.


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