By Brittany Jones, Esq., policy manager for Family Policy Alliance
Earlier this summer it was discovered that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed a contract with a procurement organization for human fetal tissue, otherwise known as baby body parts, to be used in experiments with mice. The baby body parts are being used to create “humanized mice,” essentially mice with human immune systems. So not only is the FDA attempting create a part rodent, part human creature in order to do testing, but they are using aborted babies and tax dollars to support defiling human dignity.
As if that weren’t bad enough, this contract encourages the continuation of elective abortions. Across the country over 600,000 abortions happen annually. This contract only increases demand for women to abort their babies.
Further, it inadvertently encourages abortion providers to mislead women about what will happen to their baby once the baby is aborted. The Center for Medical Progress discovered that abortion providers were tricking women into allowing research to be done using their aborted baby’s body parts.
This is why Family Policy Alliance, along with our national ally Susan B. Anthony List and nearly four dozen other prolife leaders, called on Health and Human Services’ head, Secretary Azar, to end the FDA’s contract with the fetal tissue procurement entity. We point out that Advanced Bioscience Resource, the company that the FDA has contracted with, is under federal investigation for profiting from sales of fetal organs. We also question the transparency and the openness of the Department of Health for concealing this contract and other contracts associated with the Department that involve procuring fetal remains.
Importantly, the letter points out that using human baby parts is not medically necessary to do the proposed research. “Contrary to claims, there is no scientific requirement of aborted fetal tissue to construct humanized mice . . . But good scientific alternatives exist to this grisly sourcing . . . There are abundant modern scientific alternatives, making aborted fetal tissue unnecessary.”
If you are interested, you can read the full letter for yourself here.
Hillary Clinton’s claim that women cannot succeed without abortions is false. The claim that we cannot fully understand the human immune system without killing preborn babies and desecrating their remains is false. We hope you will work with us to restore a nation where God is honored and life is cherished.
Family Policy Alliance is proud to partner with nearly 40 state-based groups, including Family Policy Institute of Washington. Joseph Backholm is the executive director. This article first appeared on FPIW’s blog.
Two days ago, FPIW’s communications director, Zach Freeman, was served legal papers naming him as a defendant in a lawsuit. The suit was filed by 10 unnamed plaintiffs, identified only as “Jane and John Does”, asking the court to prohibit the University of Washington from releasing public records that had been requested by Mr. Freeman.
Those asking for their personally identifying information to be withheld include four current or former employees of Planned Parenthood, one employee of Cedar River Clinic (a controversial late term abortion clinic) as well as an employee of Evergreen Hospital and the University of Washington.
David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, was also named as a defendant because he made a similar public records request.
Mr. Daleiden made national news last year with the release of videos showing Planned Parenthood and abortion industry executives discussing how to harvest the organs of aborted babies and maximize revenue.
Shortly after those videos were released, a group of Washington State legislators wrote two letters to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson asking him to investigate whether the parts of aborted babies were illegally being sold for a profit. (A copy of those letters can be found here and here).
After a couple of months had passed, the Attorney General wrote a memorandum to the legislators notifying them that he had done an investigation and Planned Parenthood had done nothing wrong. (A copy of that memorandum can be found here).
It is no secret that Bob Ferguson is a strong political ally of Planned Parenthood. Therefore, we thought it would be wise to verify that the evidence supported the Attorney General’s office conclusion that nothing illegal had taken place.
As a result, Mr. Freeman filed a public records request seeking information relevant to the AG’s investigation into Planned Parenthood. That request provided a number of documents, including an interaction between the AG’s office and the University of Washington from September 2015 that caught our attention.
In that correspondence, Deputy Attorney General Paige Dietrich asked Ian Goodhew, Government Relations Director at the University of Washington for “the contract you mentioned”.
Mr. Goodhew responded to this request by seeking assurances that “You will hold those confidential and not share with anyone without consent?”
In response, Ms. Dietrich said, “I don’t think we’ll need copies of the agreements.” (A copy of this correspondence can be seen here.)
While we don’t know what this contract they were referring to is, it seems plausible given the context that it would be an agreement UW had with an outside entity to procure aborted body parts.
The fact that the Attorney General’s office rescinded their request for information after UW expressed concern about that information becoming publicly available was interesting enough to warrant further investigation.
That, in addition to other things, is the reason Mr. Freeman filed the public information request with the University of Washington. Even if the Attorney General was not interested in those contracts, we decided we were.
Since they are public records, the public has the right to inspect them.
It is entirely possible that those records are innocuous and/or irrelevant to the investigation. We simply don’t know.
Still, the response to our request for those records as well as others has done nothing to dampen our curiosity.
While the requests were not intended to gather information about any individual, it is inevitable that public records will reveal the identity of people involved in public work. As a general matter, if you are having conversations with public entities you can expect that the public might discover that through public records.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that their safety would be in jeopardy if their identities became public. They argue that because Mr. Freeman and Mr. Daleiden are pro-life that they intend to harass and/or commit violence against the individuals who might be identified in these documents.
Coming from an industry built on violence to others, this is deeply ironic. But that is beside the point.
The conversation about who is a bigger threat to whom is irrelevant to the legal question about whether anyone in Washington was illegally profiting off the sale of baby body parts.
It is possible that all relevant information will be turned over once this distraction is resolved and the public will be able to see if anything illegal is happening. It also possible that this is just an initial attempt to keep information away from the public.
We don’t know. Yet. But we intend to find out.