Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Fetal tissue research benefits everyone

Royal Purple Staff Opinion

Carly Fiorina and the rest of the Republican Party are full of beans. There are no Planned Parenthood videos that show aborted fetuses, hearts still beating on the operating table, while doctors harvest their brains for tissue research, as she claimed in the last GOP debate.

There is, however, a heavily edited undercover video in which two anti-abortion activists pose as representatives from a biotech firm and discuss Planned Parenthood’s practice of donating fetal tissue to researchers with Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical research.

In the video, Nucatola describes harvesting tissues from fetuses.

“I’d say a lot of people want liver, and for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps,” Nucatola said. “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not going to crush that part, I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above, and I’m going to see if I can get it all intact.”

Disturbing? Yes. Illegal? No.

As voters, we can’t choose our leaders based on false accounts of videos that don’t exist.

The activist group behind the undercover video, The Center for Medical Progress, has accused Planned Parenthood of selling fetal organs for profit, a practice that is illegal: however, Nucatola is never actually recorded discussing the sale of organs.

Despite the false allegations, the controversy has sparked a storm of debate over the ethics of Planned Parenthood, along with fetal tissue research, and launched a Congressional investigation into its practices. Republicans in Congress also have introduced a bill that would cut funding for Planned Parenthood, instead increasing our defense budget by $13 billion.

We’re even feeling the effects of the controversy at home. Here in Wisconsin, a State Senate committee held a public hearing on a bill that would cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood and ban the use of fetal tissue from abortions in research. Scientists at UW-Madison have warned that, if put into effect, the bill would be devastating to patients, researchers and the entire scientific community.

To the Republicans, the issue at hand is a question of morality. The conservatives believe in the sanctity of human life, and therefore find the act of abortion, and any direct or indirect benefits from the practice, deplorable. Whether they agree with a woman’s right of choice, however, is not the real issue.

The Republicans are taking the focus away from abortion and are instead directing their efforts towards defunding an organization that is dedicated to women’s health – especially low-income women. Think about it. How would defunding Planned Parenthood, and making fetal tissue research illegal, actually prevent the number of abortions performed in the country? That’s right, it wouldn’t.

It would, however, make things that actually prevent abortions, like, oh let’s see, birth control, more expensive and less accessible to low-income families.

But let’s assume for a second, the Republicans have their way, and research on fetal tissue is banned. Do they think this will make anyone less likely to have an abortion?

Former President Ronald Reagan appointed a committee in 1988 to answer just that. The 1988 Fetal Tissue Transplantation Panel found no evidence that deriving something beneficial from fetal tissue research ever actually encouraged women to have abortions.

The Republicans can claim pro-life all they want, but what they’re doing now is anti-women and anti-humanity for that matter.

If you’ve never had chicken pox, shingles, rubella or polio, you can thank research that used fetal tissue.

If you support research for cancer, HIV, Parkinson’s, diabetes, Ebola, cerebral palsy or any other medical condition, you should support fetal tissue research. And if you support women’s health, you should support Planned Parenthood.

This isn’t a debate of pro-life vs. pro-choice. This doesn’t even have anything to do with fetal tissue research. This is the Republican Party scrounging for conservative votes in the primaries.

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Founded 1901
Fetal tissue research benefits everyone