WASHINGTON — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) paid at least $18,000 from December 2016 to August 2018 to Planned Parenthood partner Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) for livers and thymuses extracted from second trimester aborted babies, according to over 600 pages of documents obtained by the group Judicial Watch.
The documents show that the NIH purchased the organs to create “humanized mice” used in finding cures for HIV.
“Beginning with a December 21, 2016 payment to ABR and running through April 2018, the records show that a fetal liver and thymus set costs $680, and payment was due upon receipt. On May 23, 2018, the cost increased to $750,” Judicial Watch outlined in a press release on Feb. 13.
At least 26 purchases were made by Dr. Kim Hasenkrug, senior investigator at the NIH Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana, and purchase orders state, “These tissues, liver and thymus, are required [by] Ron Messer for ongoing studies of HIV in the Hasenkrug Lab. Our mice will be ready for reconstitution soon.”
Judicial Watch obtained the documents, which date back to 2009, after filing a lawsuit against HHS last year. View the documents in full here.
“These records detailing the federal government’s purchases of organs of aborted fetuses are the most disturbing I’ve ever seen in all my time at Judicial Watch,” President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “Every responsible official in government — from President Trump to HHS Secretary Azar — should investigate and stop the trafficking of organs of aborted unborn human beings for taxpayer-funded Frankenstein-type experimentation.”
As previously reported, in September 2018, 85 members of Congress urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discontinue its contract to obtain fetal remains from ABR.
They noted that Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley had referred ABR to the FBI and the Department of Justice in 2016 for “investigation and potential prosecution” following the committee’s own investigation, which found that the company had been buying the remains of unborn children from entities including Planned Parenthood and reselling their parts at substantially higher prices.
The sale of fetal remains for profit is illegal under federal law.
“[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 allegedly 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.
As a result of the congressional outcry, HHS soon announced that it had ended a contract between ABR and the FDA and decided to review all HHS-related research involving the use of aborted babies “in light of the serious regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved.”
“So long as HHS trades taxpayer dollars for freshly-aborted baby body parts, the U.S. government is setting its own abortion quotas and sending the message that these children are worth more dead than alive,” remarked the Center for Medical Progress, which had first exposed Planned Parenthood’s partnership with such biomedical companies in undercover videos.
“By terminating a grotesque contract for ‘fresh’ aborted baby parts from Planned Parenthood’s business partners ABR that never should have been signed in the first place, HHS has taken a small first step to stop the epidemic of trafficking tiny baby hearts, lungs, livers, and brains from late-term abortion clinics into government-sponsored laboratories for taxpayer-funded experimentation,” said founder David Daleiden, who is currently facing criminal charges in California for his work to uncover Planned Parenthood’s activities.
“HHS’s mission to ‘serve all Americans from conception to natural death’ cannot permit trafficking unborn children to stitch their body parts into lab rats,” he stated.
The Center for Medical Progress characterizes the government’s hand in the matter as being much more expansive, calculating NIH expenses for aborted babies — both intramural and extramural (intramural meaning research conducted in a government laboratory and extramural referring to monetary grants to other research entities) — as being over $200 million in 2017-2018.
“The taxpayer-funded experimentation on aborted fetal body parts is shocking,” it writes. “In a recent study funded by multiple NIH grants, published June 2018 in the Journal of Neuroscience, scientists transplanted human brain cells from aborted fetuses into baby lab mice. For the experiment, ‘Fetal brain tissue samples, between 17 and 22 weeks of gestational age, were obtained from Advanced Bioscience Resources.'”
“In another study funded by multiple NIH grants, published October 2013 in PLoS ONE, UC Berkeley scientists obtained ‘normal fetal eyes’ at ’24 week gestation’ from ABR,” it outlines. “The study notes the eyeballs ‘were collected from elective abortions,’ and, ‘All fetal eyes were harvested within minutes of death.'”
In June, HHS announced that it had decided to allow its contract with the University of California San Francisco to expire, which likewise centered on the use of aborted baby parts to make “humanized mice” in order to study potential HIV cures.
“When the audit and review began, HHS had an existing contract with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) regarding research involving human fetal tissue from elective abortions,” it outlined. “HHS has been extending the UCSF contract by means of 90-day extensions while conducting its audit and review. The current extension expires on June 5, 2019, and there will be no further extensions.”
HHS further explained that current extramural projects at other universities would not be affected by the decision, but should a university seek a renewal once its contract nears expiration, “an ethics advisory board will be convened to review the research proposal and recommend whether, in light of the ethical considerations, NIH should fund the research project — pursuant to a law passed by Congress.”
The department outlined that the government is exploring “adequate alternatives” to using the remains of aborted babies for research, and “will ensure that efforts to develop such alternatives are funded and accelerated.”
Now, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced that it is seeking nominations for the creation of an National Institutes of Health (NIH) advisory board that will discuss the ethical concerns of using the remains of aborted babies to find cures for diseases.
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announces the establishment of, and intent to convene, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board,” a notice published earlier this month states.
The board will meet with and advise Secretary Alex Azar on “the ethics of research involving human fetal tissue (HFT) proposed in NIH grant and cooperative agreement applications and R&D contract proposals.”
“Recommendations will address whether the secretary should withhold funds or not withhold funds from a proposed project because of ethical considerations,” the document explains. “[T]he Ethics Board will consider, among other things, the use of alternative models, and review and verify the core ethical principles and procedures used in the process to obtain written voluntary informed consent for the donation of the tissue.”
Ultimately, the board will advise the government as to whether or not it is unethical to conduct or otherwise support research utilizing organs, tissues and cells extracted from aborted babies.
The board will be comprised of 15 non-government employees and will include an attorney, an ethicist, a physician and a theologian. At least one-third of the group will be scientists with significant accomplishments in biomedical or behavioral research.