Remember David Daleiden? He was the undercover reporter who discovered that Planned Parenthood was (allegedly) selling the tissue and remains of aborted preborn babies for medical research. Although Daleiden's reporting grabbed headlines across the country, his undercover videos were unsuccessful in pushing Congress to defund Planned Parenthood or stop the sale of preborn baby tissue.
But that might change.
The Trump Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is debating whether or not to continue funding research that uses preborn tissue. In fiscal year of 2018, the National Institute of Health (NIH) spent $103 million on preborn tissue and is expected to spend $95 million this year. An astronomical amount that likely helps line the pockets of abortion businesses..
The debate over whether to continue using aborted preborn tissue for scientific and medical experiments is long overdue.
According to reports, most aborted preborn baby tissue is used in medical research focusing around finding a cure or treatment for Parkinson's, Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease. The use of preborn tissue is perhaps best known for being used to create vaccines for diseases like polio, chicken pox, rubella and shingles. None of these advancements or, hopefully, future successes in science are necessarily bad, but the procurement of preborn tissue remains ethically problematic.
This was first identified for the general public in David Daleiden's undercover video investigation. In some of his videos, he caught employees of Planned Parenthood admitting to manipulating abortion procedures to gain certain types of samples or intact samples, which is banned and also takes advantage of the patient who may be sedated or unconscious.
Planned Parenthood was also caught allegedly negotiating a profit margin into the price of the specimens that they would transport. While it is legal for the abortion business to recoup the price of shipment for the preborn remains, it is illegal to negotiate the price of each specimen above cost in order to gain a profit.
Although the practices of Planned Parenthood and the procurement of preborn tissue are problematic, the deeper issue is how this process is explained to the patient. Does she know that her preborn child is being sold at a profit by the abortion business? Does she know that her procedure might be changed without her consent in order to get a better "specimen?" Patient consent must be obtained for any procedure, and it is unclear if what is happening is properly explained to the patient.
These three ethical issues should give all researchers and the government that funds them pause.
The Department of Health and Human Services should terminate any contract that procures and provides preborn remains for medical research. Surely there are other ethically procured tissue alternatives that could provide great research material as well. If not that, then at least there should be a detailed investigation into how aborted preborns are obtained.
It would be great if a disease like Alzheimer's or Huntington's could be cured, but it should never come at the expense of aborted baby remains that are questionably secured from vulnerable women.