In the wake of videos exposing its involvement in trading fetal organs, Planned Parenthood has resorted to a “silver lining” defense. The taking of brains, hearts, lungs and livers from the unborn, even the delivery of intact fetal bodies to commercial middlemen, is hailed as a valid scientific procedure. The words “treat and cure” are used.
Proponents of using fetal body parts from induced abortion claim three areas of medical research need harvested tissue: transplantation to treat diseases and injuries, vaccine development and basic biology research. Yet the facts show neither necessity nor therapeutic success when relying on an aborted baby’s organs and tissues.
First, a little history. Human fetal tissue transplant research began decades ago. The first recorded fetal tissue transplants were in the 1920s in the U.K. and Italy; the transplants failed. In the United States, the earliest documented attempts came in the 1930s, to treat diabetes, and they also failed, as did transplant attempts in succeeding decades. By 1991 approximately 1,500 people had received fetal pancreatic tissue transplants in attempts to treat diabetes, mostly in the former Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China. Up to 24 fetuses were used per transplant, but fewer than 2 percent of patients responded. Today, rather than failed fetal tissue, patients take insulin shots and pharmaceuticals to control their diabetes, and adult stem cell transplants have shown initial success at ameliorating diabetes.