WASHINGTON — Pro-life groups are expressing deep concern after a document from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently surfaced, showing that the government entity has contracted with a biomedical company to obtain “fetal tissue” to create mice with a human immune system in order to test drug safety and efficacy.
“The government intends to solicit and negotiate directly with Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) Inc. and no solicitation will be issued. The objective is to acquire tissue for humanized mice. ABR is the only company that can provide the human fetal tissue needed to continue the ongoing research being led by the FDA,” reads a pre-solicitation notice released in June.
“Fresh human tissues are required for implantation into severely immune-compromised mice to create chimeric animals that have a human immune system,” it explains. “This human immune system allows us to test biological drug products for safety and efficacy. This is necessary because these drug products do not bind non-human species drug targets.”
The FDA’s contract with ABR went into effect on July 25, according to information on the General Services Administration website, and will run for one year. The FDA is paying ABR $15,900 for the remains of unborn babies, referred to as “human fetal tissue,” for the research endeavor. ABR says that it obtains its “tissue” from first and second trimester abortions, as well as full-term deliveries.
“At the FDA, research involving human fetal tissue accounts for a very small fraction of the FDA’s total research and has been used in situations where it is critical to understanding how the human immune system responds to certain drugs and biologics. This work has led to a better understanding of a number of conditions and diseases that affect millions of Americans,” the government organization said in a statement, as reported by CNS News.
“The FDA’s researchers obtain fetal tissue from a non-profit Tissue Procurement Organization (TPO) that have provided assurances that they are in compliance with all applicable legal requirements, including relevant provisions relating to research involving human fetal tissue. FDA is not involved in the TPO’s sourcing of the tissue,” it added.
“In addition, the FDA has in place systems to ensure FDA research using fetal tissue, as well as any research funded by FDA, is in compliance with applicable federal, state and local regulations and guidelines, as well as FDA policies.”
As previously reported, ABR is one of three biomedical companies investigated by Congress surrounding their relationship with the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, which had been suspected of making money off the body parts of aborted children. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also submitted a letter to the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice in December 2016 to request an investigation into Planned Parenthood and its business partners, which included ABR.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Grassley serves as chairman, had discovered following its own investigation that ABR and others were purchasing baby body parts and cells from Planned Parenthood and then reselling them to researchers at substantially higher prices.
“[I]n June of 2014, an ABR technician obtained a 20-week-old fetus at a Planned Parenthood clinic, for which it paid $60,” the Committee outlined in a report. “From that one fetus, ABR sold its brain to one customer for $325, both of its eyes for $325 each ($650 total) to a second customer, a portion of its liver for $325 to a third customer, its thymus for $325 and another portion of its liver for $325 to a fourth customer, and its lung for $325 to a fifth customer.”
In addition to making over $2,200 from just one baby, ABR also charged shipping and disease screening fees, making over $6,000 from a single child. A technician from ABR would go to Planned Parenthood and personally collect the aborted baby body parts on site the day of the procedures.
The revelation that the FDA contracted with ABR—or any company—to use the remains of aborted babies for research in mice has horrified pro-life organizations.
“It is difficult to imagine anything more shocking or upsetting than the U.S. government soliciting bids from traffickers in the remains of infant victims of abortion. Every part of this transaction is a tragedy,” said Cathy Ruse of Family Research Council, in a statement. “A woman is driven to abort her baby, too often by coercion or abandonment, and there in the shadows is a government contractor waiting to tear apart the baby’s body to deliver pieces in exchange for payment.”
“The FDA owes the American people an explanation as to how such a contract could have been approved. Americans demand to have a more ethical government—one that does not traffic in the remains of human beings,” she stated.
“Advanced Bioscience Resources is under federal investigation right now for colluding with Planned Parenthood to sell aborted baby body parts for profit. It is unconscionable that the United States government is still paying top-dollar in taxpayer money for the freshest, most high-quality dismembered baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains,” also lamented The Center for Medical Progress, which is known for its undercover investigation into Planned Parenthood’s supply of baby body parts to companies like ABR.
“By custom-ordering late-term aborted baby body parts for sale from Planned Parenthood partners like ABR, the FDA is directly complicit in these abortions and implies that these kids are worth more to the U.S. government dead than alive,” it said. “HHS must provide full transparency and immediately terminate any and all such contracts, and the U.S. Department of Justice needs to do their job and hold ABR, Planned Parenthood, and those like them accountable to the law.”