Wisconsin lawmakers decided Wednesday to move forward with a proposal banning fetal tissue research within the state. The ban is aimed at abortion providers, particularly Planned Parenthood, which has been harvesting organs from aborted babies and selling them to researchers.
Since July, the Center for Medical Progress has released almost a dozen videos detailing Planned Parenthood’s organ-trafficking scheme. The abortion giant has been taking organs from babies for cash, sometimes without gaining informed consent from their mothers for permission first, which has raised serious ethical questions.
While the ban only affects researchers in the state, it would be a step towards impacting Planned Parenthood’s bottom line. Banning the sale of fetal tissue within the state would strip away a significant portion of Planned Parenthood’s funding, a goal Congress has been unable to agree on. If more states followed Wisconsin’s lead and took steps to ban the sale of fetal organs to scientists, then enough abortion clinics would be dissuaded from picking through baby remains in search of liver or thymus to sell.
Wisconsin isn’t the only state to recently try and crack down on the sale of aborted baby organs. Lawmakers in Arizona, California, and New Jersey have all introduced legislation to crack down on the organ industry, but Wisconsin’s ban would make using aborted organs in experimentation a felony. Opponents are framing the ban as a war on science, and saying that it would inhibit life-saving discoveries, but, as Amy Otto has explained, there have actually been no scientific breakthroughs as a result of using fetal tissue.
In fact, scientists are pretty squeamish about using baby limbs. StemExpress CEO Cate Dyer said in an undercover video released by the Center for Medical Progress that many scientists are squeamish about using baby parts.
“It’s almost like they don’t want to know where it comes from,” Dyer said. “They’re like, ‘We need limbs, but no hands and feet need to be attached.’ … They want you to take it all off, like ‘make it so we don’t know what it is.'”
Dyer also explained that using fetal tissue for research is stigmatized within the scientific community, and that many researchers try to use adult samples so they don’t have to publish a paper with graphic photos of baby parts in it. Aside from being grossed out about baby parts, it turns out they don’t work as well as adult samples.
The current fight in Congress over whether to defund Planned Parenthood has kicked up much controversy over whether it will actually help reduce the organization’s role in providing abortions.
Last year, it received $528 million in federal funds, and just last week it received a grant from the Obama administration for $1 million. Federal law technically prohibits these funds from being used on abortion services. The tax dollars Planned Parenthood receives are supposed to be spent providing other health and family planning services for women. Thus it seems Planned Parenthood would be able to continue providing abortions without federal funds, since they can make money from aborted baby organs.
However, Wisconsin’s decision to go after the researchers purchasing baby organs would potentially end organ trafficking within the state. This method could be a more effective way to fight the sale of baby organs than defunding Planned Parenthood, and possibly lower the abortion rate as a side-effect.
Opponents however, argue that banning fetal tissue research would do nothing to curtail the abortion rate, as they are just taking organs from babies that are already dead. However, it’s clear that the demand for fetal tissue has created a financial incentive for abortion clinics to continue providing abortions in order to collect and sell organs. Planned Parenthood doesn’t have the best track record of looking out for women “just because.” In order to make more money, they are designed to entrap lower-income women into relying on abortion as a means of contraception.
Banning labs from using and purchasing fetal tissue would reduce the financial incentive to provide abortions, and thus perhaps diminish the incentive to push them on women. It’s unlikely that Congress will agree to defund Planned Parenthood, and the Obama administration is not going to investigate its organ-trafficking scheme anytime soon. By taking matters into their own hands, states may be able to make a significant dent in the abortion industry’s bottom line in a way the federal government is unwilling to do.