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Vaccines & Abortion:

List of questions

Legend:

This color text ... Quotes from the internet
This color text ... My comments
Underlined text ... My emphasis added

Table of contents:

Facts
Ethics
CMP sting videos
Illegal activity


Facts:

Will the COVID-19 vaccines be safe?


Do vaccines utilize fetal cells or tissues?

The use of fetal tissue in vaccine development is the practice of researching, developing, and producing vaccines through growing viruses in cultured (laboratory-grown) human fetal cells.[1] Since the cell strains in use originate from abortions,[2] there has been opposition to the practice and the resulting vaccines on religious and moral grounds.[1][3][4]

Vaccine experts and manufacturers state that vaccines do not contain any of the original fetal tissue or cells, that the abortions occurred decades ago and replenishment with new tissue has not occurred.[5] Although the vaccines are purified from cell debris, traces of human DNA fragments inevitably remain.[6][7][8]

The Catholic Church has encouraged its members to use alternative vaccines, produced without human cell lines, if possible. However, in cases where the public health risks of refusing vaccination may outweigh "the legitimate concern about the origins of the vaccine", believers are "morally free to use the vaccine regardless of its historical association with abortion".[1][3]

...from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_fetal_tissue_in_vaccine_development#mw-content-text

At the time, monkey kidney cells were being used to make the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines, which were the great public health victory of the day. However, simian monkey viruses were found lurking in those monkey kidney cells. One of these, called SV40, caused lethal cancers in laboratory hamsters. Tens of millions of American and British children were vaccinated with Salk vaccine that may well have contained the SV40 virus. So regulators were extremely concerned. Hayflick thought, If I can get cells from one fetus, determine that they're clean, and not prone to cause cancer we can have a safe, clean micro-vaccine factory for making these viral vaccines.

The lungs of Mrs. X's aborted fetus were flown to Philadelphia and used by Hayflick to create the cell line known as WI-38, "WI" standing for the Wistar Institute.

...from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/02/vaccine-race-history-science-politics-meredith-wadman/#universal-video-inlinePlayer_0000015a-614f-d7df-a9df-efef72090000

COVID-19 vaccines:

COVID-19 vaccines chart

There's some pretty alarmist statements on that page.

The fetal cells lines being used to produce some of the potential COVID-19 vaccines are from two sources:

• HEK-293: A kidney cell line that was isolated from a terminated fetus in 1972

• PER.C6: A retinal cell line that was isolated from a terminated fetus in 1985

Any vaccine that relies on these historic cell lines will not require new abortions.

...from PDF (p 1) at https://www.health.nd.gov/immunization-guidance-public

The Archdiocese of New Orleans, in light of guidance from the Vatican, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and The National Catholic Bioethics Center affirm that though there was some lab testing that utilized the abortion-derived cell line, the two vaccines currently available from Pfizer and Moderna do not rely on cell lines from abortions in the manufacturing process and therefore can be morally acceptable for Catholics as the connection to abortion is extremely remote.

It is under the same guidance that the archdiocese must instruct Catholics that the latest vaccine from Janssen/Johnson & Johnson is morally compromised as it uses the abortion-derived cell line in development and production of the vaccine as well as the testing.

We maintain that the decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccine remains one of individual conscience in consultation with one's healthcare provider. We also maintain that in no way does the Church's position diminish the wrongdoing of those who decided to use cell lines from abortions to make vaccines. In doing so, we advise that if the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine is available, Catholics should choose to receive either of those vaccines rather than to receive the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of its extensive use of abortion-derived cell lines.

...from https://nolacatholic.org/news/a-statement-regarding-the-janssen-johnson-johnson-covid-19-vaccine#content1

The CanSino, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Janssen and ImmunityBio vaccines use a virus called adenovirus genetically altered to be harmless but loaded with SARS-CoV-2's spike protein genetic code, necessary for viral entry into human cells. Similar to how Pfizer and Moderna's messenger RNA vaccine operates by providing cells instructions on how to make anti-spike protein antibodies, the altered adenovirus delivers the spike genetic sequence so the body can make the antibodies itself.

The altered adenovirus cannot replicate on its own, and that is where the fetal-derived cell lines come in by providing their replication machinery and generating vast amounts of the virus.

...from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/12/29/fact-check-covid-19-vaccines-morally-acceptable-vatican-says/4014905001/#gnt_atomsnc


Current fetal tissue legislation:

The federal regulations state that women must decide to have an abortion before clinicians can ask whether they would like to donate fetal tissue.

...from https://www.cnn.com/2015/07/17/health/fetal-tissue-explainer/index.html#headerMenuIcon

The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 added several provisions to the existing regulations governing fetal tissue research. One such provision prohibits anyone from accepting payment for human fetal tissue other than "reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue." Thus, although individuals may be compensated for any costs they incur in the acquisition, receipt or transfer of fetal tissue, they are prohibited from making a profit from these activities, regardless of whether the project is federally funded or not.

...from https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2016/fetal-tissue-research-weapon-and-casualty-war-against-abortion#article-body

At the state level, fetal tissue donation is regulated by the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA), versions of which are in effect in every state.13,18 According to an analysis by the Guttmacher Institute, 38 states and the District of Columbia have UAGA laws that explicitly treat fetal tissue the same way as other human tissue, permitting it to be donated by the woman for research, therapy or education. The remaining 12 states have laws that are silent, neither allowing nor disallowing the donation of fetal tissue (see map). UAGA also prohibits profiting from the sale or purchase of anatomical gifts for transplantation or therapy.

...from https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2016/fetal-tissue-research-weapon-and-casualty-war-against-abortion#article-body

US regulation
Fetal tissue and the law

Regulations governing US-funded fetal tissue research, first issued in 1975, state that:

The research must comply with all applicable US, state and local laws and regulations.

If information associated with the fetal tissue allows it to be traced to a living individual, that person becomes a research subject and informed consent from the donor is required for its use.

(Laws in at least 40 states require informed consent from the woman even if the fetal tissue will be anonymized.)

Additional requirements from a 1993 US law:

Providers may not transfer fetal tissue for profit, but can receive funds to cover 'reasonable payments', such as for processing, storage and transportation.

Researchers may not acquire fetal tissue if they know that a pregnancy was initiated in order to provide that tissue for research.

Violators of either provision above are subject to criminal penalties of up to ten years in prison, up to US$500,000 in fines, or both. These apply to both the tissue supplier and the tissue receiver in a transaction.

...form https://www.nature.com/news/the-truth-about-fetal-tissue-research-1.18960#box

Prohibitions regarding human fetal tissue

Statute on Fetal Tissue Transplantation Research (1993)


Do vaccines contain fetal cells?

Vaccines also do not contain fetal cells. Once the vaccine viruses are grown in the cells, the next step in the manufacturing process is to purify the vaccine viruses away from the cells and substances used to help cells grow.

...from https://www.chop.edu/news/feature-article-fetal-cells-and-vaccines-common-questions-answered#skip-to-content

Although the vaccines are purified from cell debris, traces of human DNA fragments inevitably remain.[6][7][8]

...from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_fetal_tissue_in_vaccine_development#cite_ref-Offit_4-0

"There are perhaps nanograms of DNA fragments still found in the vaccine, perhaps billionths of a gram," he said. "You would find as much if you analyzed the fruits and vegetables you eat."

...from https://abcnews.go.com/Health/aborted-fetuses-vaccines/story?id=29005539#

Because DNA is not stable when exposed to certain chemicals, much of it is destroyed in the process of making the vaccine. Therefore, the amount of human DNA in the final vaccine preparation is minimal (trillionths of a gram) and highly fragmented. Because the DNA is fragmented, it cannot possibly create a whole protein that could be harmful.

...from https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-ingredients/dna#

More than 125 candidate vaccines against COVID-19 are under development around the world. As of July 2, 14 were in human trials.

Those vaccines can be divided into a few different types. Some, such as RNA vaccines made by companies like Moderna (SN: 5/18/20), do not require a live cell, and thus, no cell line. [The Moderna vaccine uses HEK-293 cells for confirmatory testing.] But other types do require live cells during their production. That includes candidates that use the old-school method for developing vaccines: attenuation. This is "what Pasteur did" when he made the first vaccines against anthrax and rabies, explains Mark Davis, a virologist at Stanford University. "You grow a virus," and over time the virus loses potency. "It's still alive, but for some reason, it typically loses its more dramatic clinical effects."

...from https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-covid19-vaccine-ethical-issues#post-3089387

• View the Pfizer package insert
• View the Moderna package insert
• View the Johnson & Johnson package insert

If you would like to learn more about each ingredient, the National Institutes for Health (NIH) provides a service to explain medicine ingredients called PubChem. We've listed vaccine ingredients in the table below as an example.

Pfizer-BioNTech
Active ingredient • mRNA coding for a form of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2
Lipids (fats) • (4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate)
• 2[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]- N,N-ditetradecylacetamide
• 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine
• cholesterol
Salts • potassium chloride
• monobasic potassium phosphate
• sodium chloride
• dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
Other • sucrose

Moderna
Active ingredient • mRNA coding for a form of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2
Lipids (fats) • SM-102
• polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG]
• cholesterol
• 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]
Salts • sodium chloride
• trisodium citrate dehydrate
• citric acid monohydrate
Other • tromethamine
• tromethamine hydrochloride
• acetic acid
• sucrose

Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
Active ingredient • Recombinant, replication-incompetent adenovirus type 26 expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein
Lipids (fats) • (4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate)
• 2[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]- N,N-ditetradecylacetamide
• 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine
• cholesterol
Salts • potassium chloride
• monobasic potassium phosphate
• sodium chloride
• dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
Other • ethanol
• polysorbate-80
• acetic acid
• sucrose

These three vaccines do NOT include:

• Fetal cells

...from https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/you-asked-we-answered-are-covid-19-vaccine-ingredients-public#block-mainpagecontent

Are there vaccines that don't utilize fetal cells?

Ethical COVID-19 vaccines

The first paragraph at the above link is fairly alarmist.

Ethical vaccines

(PDF) Ethical COVID-19 and other vaccines at https://cogforlife.org/vaccine-overview/

The WI-38 and MRC-5 cell cultures have been used to prepare hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines, preventing millions of cases of rubella, hepatitis A, varicella and rabies. In the United States, only one of these diseases can be prevented with an FDA-licensed vaccine not grown in human diploid cells. This is the RabAvert brand of rabies vaccine manufactured by Chiron Corporation.4

...from http://www.immunizationinfo.org/issues/vaccine-components/human-fetal-links-some-vaccines/#footnoteref3_03d7pp3

More than 125 candidate vaccines against COVID-19 are under development around the world. As of July 2, 14 were in human trials.

Those vaccines can be divided into a few different types. Some, such as RNA vaccines made by companies like Moderna (SN: 5/18/20), do not require a live cell, and thus, no cell line. [The Moderna vaccine uses HEK-293 cells for confirmatory testing.] But other types do require live cells during their production. That includes candidates that use the old-school method for developing vaccines: attenuation. This is "what Pasteur did" when he made the first vaccines against anthrax and rabies, explains Mark Davis, a virologist at Stanford University. "You grow a virus," and over time the virus loses potency. "It's still alive, but for some reason, it typically loses its more dramatic clinical effects."

...from https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-covid19-vaccine-ethical-issues#post-3089387


Were the abortions performed for the purpose of medical research?

In total only two fetuses, both obtained from abortions done by maternal choice, have given rise to the human cell strains used in vaccine development. Neither abortion was performed for the purpose of vaccine development.

...from https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/human-cell-strains-vaccine-development#body-mediaitem-switcher

Another safeguard in the Health and Human Services guidelines is that a clinical team that performs the abortion cannot know that the fetus will be donated, to help ensure that they do not change how they perform the abortion, or jeopardize the safety of the woman, Hyun said.

...from https://www.cnn.com/2015/07/17/health/fetal-tissue-explainer/index.html#headerMenuIcon

Dr. Plotkin showed that his vaccine was safe and effective, although his clinical trials, like much medical research at the time, would not meet ethical standards today. His research subjects were orphans and intellectually disabled children who could not provide informed consent and received a vaccine whose side effects were as yet unknown.

...from https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-human-cost-of-a-life-saving-vaccine-1487366342#cx-article-inline-newsletter-tile

Although abortions were technically illegal in Pennsylvania at the time, they were still performed when doctors said they were medically necessary. Hayflick says he was able to obtain fetuses straight from the operating room of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital across the street from Wistar. Unless the tissue was put to some use, he reasoned, "it was definitely going to end up in an incinerator". The University of Pennsylvania says that it is unable to find records to confirm the source of fetal tissues used by Hayflick.

...from https://www.nature.com/news/medical-research-cell-division-1.13273?src=longreads#mediaplayer-7112371372241474

Attitudes and practices around abortion were different in the 1960s compared with the present day, but even then, pregnancies were not terminated for the advancement of science. Pregnancies were terminated to support the well-being of women and their families. Cells were taken from what, at that time, was considered the by-product of an abortion.

No new fetal tissue has been required since the 1960s.

[HEK-293 cells utilized a 1973 abortion.
PER.C6 cells utilized an abortion in 1985.
HEK-293 and PER.C6 cells are used in some COVID-19 vaccines and some of these vaccines]

Babies are not being aborted in order to produce vaccines. The cells used now are not the originally harvested cells, they are descendants of those cells.

Perpetual human cell lines from the 1960s are used to grow the hepatitis A, rubella and varicella (chickenpox or shingles) viruses for vaccines.

» The WI-38 cell line is used to grow rubella virus in M-M-R II and varicella virus in Varivax and Zostavax. The original cells came from a fetus in 1961 after an abortion because the parents felt they had too many children.

» The MRC-5 cell line is used to grow rubella virus in Priorix, varicella (chickenpox and shingles) virus in Varilrix, Varivax and Zostavax. [sic] and hepatitis A virus in Havrix® Junior and Havrix® vaccines. The original cells came from a fetus in 1966 after an abortion because the mother had psychiatric problems.

» The original rubella virus used in the M-M-R II and Priorix vaccines came from a fetus in 1964 after an abortion because the mother had been infected with the rubella virus.

...from PDF (p 1) at https://www.immune.org.nz/resources/written-resources/animal-derived-products-and-national-immunisation-schedule-vaccines-%E2%80%93


Do all the fetal cells used for vaccines come from only two abortions?

No.
US vaccines use seven fetal cell lines according to this chart.

I think five of these seven represent one abortion per fetal cell line.
Additional aborted fetuses were utilized in developing WI-38 and RA 27/3.

Most vaccines utilize two fetal cell lines--WI-38 and MRC-5...
...from two abortions:

In fact, some vaccines are grown in cell cultures that were originally obtained from two human fetuses. In addition, the rubella virus used to make rubella vaccine was isolated from a third human fetus.

...from http://www.immunizationinfo.org/issues/vaccine-components/human-fetal-links-some-vaccines/#node-106

Though there are hundreds of cell lines available in the United States, WI-38 makes up the majority of the cells used, together with just one other.

"MRC-5" cells, named after the initials of the Medical Research Council where they were collected, were obtained from the lungs of another three-month-old foetus. This time the abortion happened in England in 1966 for "psychiatric reasons".

...from https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20201103-the-controversial-cells-that-saved-10-million-lives#

It is well known (this isn't some shocking truth as some are trying to push) that some vaccines are made with fetal embryo fibroblast cells (the WI-38 and MRC-5 cells) from cell lines that are derived (they can replicate infinitely) from two electively terminated pregnancies (abortions) in the 1960s.

Those two fetuses weren't the only two fetuses ever used in research though, they were just the only ones used to actually make vaccines.

...from https://vaxopedia.org/2019/02/03/about-those-stanley-plotkin-videos/#post-35113

There are two particular fetal cell lines that have been heavily used in vaccine development. They are named according to the laboratory facilities where they were developed. One cell line is known as WI-38, developed at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, PA. The other is MRC-5, developed for the Medical Research Council in England. WI-38 was developed by Dr. Leonard Hayflick in 1962, by taking lung cells from an aborted female baby at approximately the end of the third month of pregnancy. Dr. Hayflick's article published in the journal Experimental Cell Research states that three cell lines, WI-26, WI-38, WI-44 were all developed from aborted babies. "All embryos were obtained from surgical abortions and were of approximately three months' gestation."(1) Dr. Stanley Plotkin, who developed a Rubella vaccine using WI-38, addressed a question at an international conference as to the origin of WI-38. Dr. Plotkin stated:

"This fetus was chosen by Dr. Sven Gard, specifically for this purpose. Both parents are known, and unfortunately for the story, they are married to each other, still alive and well, and living in Stockholm, presumably. The abortion was done because they felt they had too many children. There were no familial diseases in the history of either parent, and no history of cancer specifically in the families."(2)

The origin of the MCR-5 cell line, created in 1966, is documented in the journal Nature by three British researchers working at the National Institute for Medical Research. They wrote, "We have developed another strain of cells, also derived from foetal lung tissue, taken from a 14-week male foetus removed for psychiatric reasons from a 27 year old woman with a genetically normal family history and no sign of neoplastic disease both at abortion and for at least three years afterward."(3) Noting that their research parallels that of Dr. Hayflick's development of the WI-38 cell line, the researchers conclude, "Our studies indicate that by presently accepted criteria, MRC-5 cells--in common with WI-38 cells of similar origin--have normal characteristics and so could be used for the same purposes as WI-38 cells."(4)

In both of these cell lines it is quite clear that the aborted children were presumed to be healthy, and that there was no life-threatening condition or other medically-indicated reason for the abortion of these two babies.

...from https://www.ohiolife.org/vaccines_abortion_fetal_tissue#intro


According to this chart...
...vaccines utilize five fetal cell lines in addition to WI-38 and MRC-5:

(According to this chart, COVID-19 vaccines utilize two of these five fetal cell lines--HEK-293 and PER.C6.)

1... HEK-293:

The cells were obtained from a single, healthy fetus, the precise origin of which is unclear.[1][2]

[See also https://www.aei.org/op-eds/abortion-ethics-and-the-coronavirus-vaccines/#the-main-content]

...They are called HEK since they originated in human embryonic kidney cultures, while the number 293 came from Graham's habit of numbering his experiments; the original HEK 293 cell clone was from his 293rd experiment.

...from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HEK_293_cells#History

2... Erythropoietin gene, fetal liver lambda.hE1/:

I don't know what this is.

3... PER.C6:

There is a more recent cell line, PER C6, developed in 1985, which is being used currently in research to develop vaccines to treat Ebola and HIV. The origin of PER C6 is clearly documented. In direct testimony before the Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, Dr. Alex Van Der Eb, the scientist who developed PER C6, stated:

"So I isolated retina [cells] from a fetus, from a healthy fetus as far as could be seen, of 18 weeks old. There was nothing special in the family history, or the pregnancy was completely normal up to the 18 weeks, and it turned out to be a socially indicated abortus, abortus provocatus, and that was simply because the woman wanted to get rid of the fetus."(5)

...from https://www.ohiolife.org/vaccines_abortion_fetal_tissue#intro

4... WI-26 VA4:

Hayflick cultured fetal lung tissues which he had received from male and female fetuses, and which he named the male derived cells WI-26 and the female derived cells WI-38 and WI-44.

...from https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/limited-vitro-lifetime-human-diploid-cell-strains-1964-leonard-hayflick#page-title

WI-26 VA4 is an SV40 virus transformed derivative of WI-26 a human diploid fibroblast cell line from embryonic lung tissue. After initial infection and crisis-phase of SV40-transformation, the cells underwent a change in morphology. The cells are positive for SV40 neo (T) antigen and SV40 transplantation antigen.

...from https://www.atcc.org/products/all/CCL-95.1.aspx#layoutcontent_2_middlecontent_0_productdetailcontent_0_maincontent_2_rptTabContent_rptFields_1_fieldRow_2

5... RA 27/3:
(RA 27/3 is not a fetal cell line...
...It is a virus that was isolated from a fetus)

Explant cultures were made of the dissected organs of a particular fetus aborted because of rubella, the 27th in our series of fetuses aborted during the 1964 epidemic.

...from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/503157#6556147


Did they experiment with multiple fetuses before finding the one that worked for a particular fetal cell line?

Walvax-2

Wi-38 and rubella vaccine:

Hayflick developed 25 different fetal-cell strains, numbered WI-1 to WI-25.

...from https://www.nature.com/news/medical-research-cell-division-1.13273?src=longreads#mediaplayer-7112371372241474

WI38- W=Wistar I=Institute 38= # of abortion used

• tissue would be collected from the lungs of a female baby at 3 months gestation

• 1964

• The rubella virus clinically named RA273. R=Rubella, A=Abortus, 27=27th fetus, 3=3rd tissue explant, which was then cultivated on the WI-38 aborted fetal cell line. Stanley Plotkin would later reveal that 40 more babies were aborted after RA273 was successfully isolated, with virus strains taken from 34 of them. A total of over 80 separate abortions were involved in the research and final production of the present day rubella vaccine- 21 abortions from the original WI-1 through WI-26 fetal cell lines that failed, plus WI-38 itself, plus 67 from the attempts to isolate the rubella virus.

...from https://explorevaccines.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/fetal-cell-lines-and-vaccines/#post-172

Rubella caused spontaneous abortions:

(video) https://hillemanfilm.com/stanley-plotkin:

1:41... 5,000 infected women had abortions due to fear of birth defects.
1:56... Rubella caused 6,000 spontaneous abortions.
3:01... The rubella virus was obtained from an elective abortion.
5:32... Human cells worked better than animal cells.
6:56... Hayflick got fetal cells from an elective abortion from Sweden.
15:55... Rubella vaccine prevented an estimated 6,000 spontaneous abortions in the 1970s.

Some vaccine components have been derived from human fetuses. The abortions were not conducted for the purpose of vaccine discovery or vaccine production. Additional abortions are not needed for the production of these vaccines. In the case of rubella vaccine, abortions are prevented by the use of the vaccine.

...from http://www.immunizationinfo.org/issues/vaccine-components/human-fetal-links-some-vaccines/#footnoteref9_8d6qy9b

During the last major rubella epidemic in the United States from 1964 to 1965, an estimated 12.5 million people got rubella, 11,000 pregnant women lost their babies, 2,100 newborns died, and 20,000 babies were born with congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).

...from https://www.cdc.gov/rubella/about/in-the-us.html#content

The virus that led to the only rubella vaccine available in the United States and that is widely used overseas (Meruvax II, Merck) came from tissues obtained at the time of an abortion performed on a rubella virus-infected mother.5 The abortion was not conducted in order to isolate the virus, but rather because the mother and the fetus were infected with wild rubella virus that posed a risk of major birth defects.6 [,] 7

...from http://www.immunizationinfo.org/issues/vaccine-components/human-fetal-links-some-vaccines/#footnoteref4_ebjpenf


Are there ethical alternatives to fetal tissue research?

Vaccines utilize fetal cells.
They do not rely on ongoing fetal tissue research:

Fetal cell lines are not the same as fetal tissue. Fetal cell lines are cells that grow in a laboratory.

...from https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/you-asked-we-answered-do-the-covid-19-vaccines-contain-aborted-fetal-cells#block-mainpagecontent

Human fetal tissue is defined as tissue or cells obtained from a dead human embryo or fetus after a spontaneous or induced abortion or stillbirth. This definition does not include established human fetal cell lines.

...from https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/html5/section_4/4.1.14_human_fetal_tissue_research.htm#mc-main-content

The fetal fibroblast cells used to grow vaccine viruses were first obtained from elective termination of two pregnancies in the early 1960s. These same fetal cells obtained from the early 1960s have continued to grow in the laboratory and are used to make vaccines today. No further sources of fetal cells are needed to make these vaccines.

...from https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-ingredients/fetal-tissues#skip-to-content

Possible alternatives to fetal tissue research:

Ethical alternatives to tissue derived in abortions include sources from the placenta, umbilical cord, amniotic fluid, discarded surgical tissue, and postmortem tissue.

...from https://www.heritage.org/life/commentary/5-takeaways-discussion-alternatives-fetal-tissue-research#block-mainpagecontent

However, Catholic teaching would probably allow research done with stem cells obtained from postpartum placental tissue and from adult bone marrow and tissue. These cells, which lack the pluripotency of embryonic and fetal stem cells, are nevertheless scientifically promising and do not involve the destruction of human life.

...from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10623180/#enc-abstract

Indicate why the research goals cannot be accomplished using an alternative to HFT [human fetal tissue] (including, but not limited to, induced pluripotent cells not developed from HFT, organoids not developed from HFT, neonatal human tissue, human tissue obtained from adults, human fetal tissue not derived from elective abortion, animal models, and in vitro models that are not developed from HFT, and computational models)

...from PDF (p 4) at https://osp.od.nih.gov/biotechnology/nih-human-fetal-tissue-research-ethics-advisory-board/#meetings

The definition of research involving HFT [human fetal tissue] does not include the following:

• human fetal primary or secondary cell cultures, if cells were not derived from an elective abortion

• already-established (as of June 5, 2019) human fetal cell lines (e.g. induced pluripotent stem cell lines from human fetal tissue, immortalized cell lines, differentiated cell lines).

• derivative products from human fetal tissue or cells (e.g. DNA, RNA, protein) if not derived from elective abortion.

• human extra-embryonic cells and tissue, including, but not limited to, umbilical cord tissue, cord blood, placenta, amniotic fluid, and chorionic villi if not derived from elective abortion.

• human fetal cells present in maternal blood or other maternal sources

• embryonic stem cells or embryonic cell lines.

• research on transplantation of HFT for therapeutic purposes (because of the statutory provision(s) addressing such research)

...from PDF (p 14) at https://osp.od.nih.gov/biotechnology/nih-human-fetal-tissue-research-ethics-advisory-board/#meetings

Fetal tissue is more flexible and adaptable than the alternatives:

"While there have been some advances in recent years that have reduced the need for fetal tissue in certain areas of research, it remains critically important in many other areas."

...from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/05/us/politics/fetal-tissue-research.html#link-202527fd

Biological scientists currently have no better alternatives to using fetal tissue to give mice humanlike immune systems, concluded scientists who convened yesterday at a National Institutes of Health (NIH) workshop to discuss the issue.

...from https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/12/fetal-tissue-gold-standard-key-studies-nih-workshop-concludes#undefined-sticky-wrapper

One member also believed that no alternatives to HFT [human fetal tissue] were possible for this application, and reported that while alternatives have been attempted for the past 10 to 15 years, none has been successful and that the work cannot be done with mice or organoids.

...from PDF (p 10) at https://osp.od.nih.gov/biotechnology/nih-human-fetal-tissue-research-ethics-advisory-board/#meetings

The scientific community has been adamant that no alternatives to human fetal tissue have proved as effective. Opponents, however, say that newer methods, including the use of thymus tissue from newborn infants who undergo heart surgeries, appear promising.

...from https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/trump-administration-imposes-new-restrictions-on-fetal-tissue-research/2019/06/05/b13433c0-8709-11e9-a491-25df61c78dc4_story.html#main-content

Critics of fetal tissue research have argued that more modern alternatives -- such as using adult cell lines, "organoids" grown in a lab, or computer models -- can be used, instead. But many scientists say that this isn't true of all branches of research and that it is difficult to duplicate the flexibility and adaptability of fetal tissue.

...from https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/trump-administration-launches-review-of-government-funded-fetal-tissue-research/2018/09/25/0960808a-c0ef-11e8-9005-5104e9616c21_story.html?utm_term=.157b361738d5&itid=lk_inline_manual_23#main-content

Q: Aren't there effective alternatives?

It depends on whom you ask. Opponents of fetal tissue research point to a number of other possible options, including monkey or hamster cells for vaccines as well as blood collected after birth from umbilical cords that are rich in blood-forming stem cells. They also suggest the use of adult stem cells and "organoids" -- artificially grown cells that somewhat mimic organs.

...from https://khn.org/news/faq-how-does-new-trump-fetal-tissue-policy-impact-medical-research/#post-959386

But supporters of the research counter that fetal tissue is legally obtained, that it would otherwise be destroyed, that such work has already led to major medical advances and that, if there were better alternatives, they would turn to them. "Fetal tissue is a flexible, less-differentiated tissue. It grows readily and adapts to new environments, allowing researchers to study basic biology or use it as a tool in a way that can't be replicated with adult tissue," says Carrie Wolinetz, the NIH's associate director for science policy.

...from https://www.nature.com/news/the-truth-about-fetal-tissue-research-1.18960#mediaplayer-7323231449513755

But off-the-shelf fetal cell lines are of limited use for scientists because they do not faithfully mimic native tissue and represent only a subset of cell types: WI-38 and MRC-5, for example, were derived from fetal lungs. The lines can also accumulate mutations after replicating in vitro over time. And creating humanized mice such as Su's requires whole pieces of fetal organs to provide sufficient numbers of stem cells. For all of these reasons, researchers turn to fresh tissue.

In the United States, this is collected at medical centres and clinics that perform abortions under a patchwork of laws and regulations governing consent, tissue collection and transfer (see 'Fetal tissue and the law').

...from https://www.nature.com/news/the-truth-about-fetal-tissue-research-1.18960#mediaplayer-7323231449513755

Sally Temple, scientific director of the Neural Stem Cell Institute who is a past president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, said that while these other types of cells hold promise, they aren't ready for prime time.

"There's a lot of excitement about using stem cells and talk about how we can use three-dimensional organoids," said Temple. But organoids don't have the same cellular arrangement or blood vessel network. "Organoids can't mimic real tissue," she said.

"If we're going to understand how tissues are made in humans, you really have to have access to human tissue," she added. "It makes you so nervous that scientists aren't being heard."

...from https://khn.org/news/faq-how-does-new-trump-fetal-tissue-policy-impact-medical-research/#post-959386

Some commentators have argued that technological advances have obviated the need for research using fetal tissue. When questioned about whether there are alternatives to fetal tissue for stem cell research, such as induced pluripotent stem cells derived from adult tissue, NIH acknowledged that such technology bears promise. However, according to NIH, the technology is not yet mature, and for the immediate future, fetal stem cells continue to play an important role in scientific research. Indeed, during the period while the new technologies are being developed NIH said that it is important to continue to have access to fetal tissue to validate these new methods. 95

...from PDF (p 18) at https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/committee-finds-no-evidence-to-support-allegations-against-planned

This Board member noted that ethically derived tissue from non-elective abortions is a viable alternative to HFT [human fetal tissue] with tissue of good quality available from well-established banks. However, other members thought that tissue from miscarriage was not a viable alternative due to the timing of tissue collection and tissue quality. These members noted that most spontaneous abortions are abnormal for a variety of reasons, including genetic abnormalities such as aneuploidy. In addition, one member said that the timing of spontaneous abortion relative to collection of the tissue is typically longer than in the cases of HFT collection from elective abortions, and therefore the quality of the tissue is not as high.

...from PDF (p 6) at https://osp.od.nih.gov/biotechnology/nih-human-fetal-tissue-research-ethics-advisory-board/#meetings

Vice president--elect Mike Pence, meanwhile, has consistently opposed ES cell research, arguing that the discovery of induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells--reprogrammed adult cells that take on stemlike properties--make it unnecessary to take cells from embryos.

Indeed, IPS cells "have taken some of the heat off the embryonic stem cell research," says Timothy Kamp, a cardiologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison who works with ES cells. But they aren't poised to replace it altogether, he says. Embryonic cells remain a "part of the tool set that we like to use to show that our finding is robust, reproducible, and not an artifact of reprogramming or keeping cells in culture," he says. "I think it would be quite devastating to take those lines out of federally funded protocols."

...from https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/11/embryonic-stem-cells-and-fetal-tissue-research-will-trump-intervene#main-content

NIH last year launched a $20 million research program seeking alternatives to the use of human fetal tissue in research. But in announcing the program, NIH Director Francis Collins said that to validate such alternatives, "You're going to have to compare it to the current standard, which is using fetal tissue."

"Some of the proposals were constrained by the NIH requirement that [human fetal tissue] be used as a comparator," the report states.

The near-blanket rejection of the proposals has upset scientists who support research with fetal tissue. "Crucial advances in biomedical research will be slowed because of the American restrictions on research using human fetal tissue," Christine Mummery, president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research and a stem cell scientist at Leiden University Medical Center, says in response to the report. "People may die unnecessarily because the administration has allowed an ideological special interest group to hijack biomedical research."

...from https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/08/new-us-ethics-board-rejects-most-human-fetal-tissue-research-proposals#undefined-sticky-wrapper

Fetal tissue has unique and valuable properties that often cannot be replaced by other cell types. Cells from fetal tissue are more flexible and less specialized than cells from adult tissue and can be more readily grown in culture. This is part of the reason why fetal tissue is used for the generation of vaccines and for studying infectious diseases like Zika, HIV, and other viruses. It is also the reason why human fetal tissue is used to develop and validate model systems to study the progression of diseases and test new therapeutics.

While some have argued that advances in recent years have reduced the need for fetal tissue in certain areas of research, fetal tissue remains the gold standard for evaluating the accuracy of models of human fetal development. Fetal tissue also remains an essential resource for studying complex interactions between cells. Fetal cell lines are not a substitute for fetal tissue, because they are limited to a small number of cell types and are inadequate for studying complex interactions between cells. Similarly, organoids and stem cell model systems are simplistic models that only mimic certain aspects of human development. Finally, tissue from spontaneous abortions is not a reliable substitute for tissue from induced abortions, because they often result from genetic defects, developmental abnormalities, or other conditions that undermine the availability and usefulness of the tissue.

The long-standing existing review process for fetal tissue research ensures that research using fetal tissue is scientifically meritorious, legal, and ethically sound. The legal framework for this research prohibits people from profiting from acquiring, receiving, or transferring fetal tissue for research.

...from https://www.aibs.org/news/2020/200728-coalition-letter-to-nih.html#subheader


Do tax dollars support abortion?

taxpayers subsidize roughly 24% of all abortion costs in the U.S.

...from https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2015/10/02/are-american-taxpayers-paying-for-abortion/?sh=2ecb5ae16a4b#article-stream-0

37% of Planned Parenthood's revenue is government reimbursements and grants.

...from PDF (p 26) at https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/facts-figures/annual-report

From 1973, when abortion first became legal, until 1980, when the Hyde amendment first took effect, the joint federal-state Medicaid program was paying for roughly 300,000 abortions annually.

...from https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121402281?storyId=121402281#ad-backstage-News_Health_Health_Care

Clinics have been prohibited for years from using federal money to finance abortion services, except in cases of rape, incest or when the pregnancy would endanger the woman's life.

...from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/19/health/planned-parenthood-title-x.html#article-summary

His concession will be music to Democrats' ears, who have long accused Republicans of trying to sink Planned Parenthood because they oppose abortion. The women's health care provider gets about $500 million a year in federal funds, but federal law prohibits any of it from being used for abortions. Instead, the money is used to subsidize a range of health care services for low-income women, including birth control, cancer screenings and tests for sexually transmitted diseases.

...from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/jason-chaffetz-planned-parenthood-funding_n_5616ed01e4b0dbb8000de134#us_5616ed01e4b0dbb8000de134

Planned Parenthood said Monday that it would withdraw from the federal family planning program that provides birth control and other health services to poor women rather than comply with a new Trump administration rule that forbids referrals to doctors who can perform abortions.

...The rule says that while clinics accepting Title X funds may continue to talk to patients about abortion, they may not refer women to an abortion provider or suggest where to obtain an abortion.

...Withdrawing from Title X will not deprive Planned Parenthood of all government funding, a longtime goal of many conservatives. Figures from Planned Parenthood's 2017-18 annual report showed that the organization received about $500 million from Medicaid, the joint federal and state health care program for low income people.

...from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/19/health/planned-parenthood-title-x.html#article-summary


How many abortions does Planned Parenthood perform?

Planned Parenthood performed 332,757 abortions in 2017-2018 in the USA.

...from PDF (p 25) at https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/facts-figures/annual-report

An estimated 862,320 total abortions (including Planned Parenthood) were performed in 2017 in the USA.

...from https://www.guttmacher.org/report/abortion-incidence-service-availability-us-2017

Planned Parenthood performed 345,672 abortions in 2018-2019 in the USA.

...from PDF (p 24) at https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/facts-figures/annual-report


Are abortions 3% of Planned Parenthood's services?

Abortions accounted for 3 percent of the nearly 10.6 million total services provided by Planned Parenthood clinics in 2013, according to its annual report.

Some services it provided in addition to abortions were:

4.5 million tests and treatment for sexually transmitted infections

3.6 million contraception related services

935,573 cancer screenings including breast exams and Pap tests

1.1 million pregnancy tests and prenatal services

However, critics of the 3 percent figure note that an abortion isn't equivalent to other individual services, such as giving out condoms or providing pregnancy tests.

On the other hand, if the number of abortions performed is divided by the total number of people served (2.7 million), that would mean roughly 12 percent of clients received an abortion. But that's also assuming no person received more than one abortion.

...from https://www.factcheck.org/2015/09/planned-parenthoods-services/#dpsp-post-content-markup

The Pinocchio Test

The 3 percent figure that Planned Parenthood uses is misleading, comparing abortion services to every other service that it provides. The organization treats each service -- pregnancy test, STD test, abortion, birth control -- equally. Yet there are obvious difference between a surgical (or even medical) abortion, and offering a urine (or even blood) pregnancy test. These services are not all comparable in how much they cost or how extensive the service or procedure is.

The 94 percent figure that Susan B. Anthony List uses also is misleading, comparing abortion services to two other types of services that pregnant women receive through Planned Parenthood. But we don't know how many pregnant women Planned Parenthood serves every year or how many they refer to private providers for prenatal care, because the organization does not report that information.

With limited data, there is no accurate way to measure how much of Planned Parenthood's activities comprise abortions. Both sides are using meaningless and incomplete comparisons to make their argument, and the public should be wary of both figures. Thus, both receive Three Pinocchios.

While Planned Parenthood has no legal obligation to make its data more public, it is unfortunate that the public has limited access to data about the organization. Planned Parenthood could end the speculation--and Pinocchios--by providing a more transparent breakdown of its clients, referrals and sources of revenues.

...from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/08/12/for-planned-parenthood-abortion-stats-3-percent-and-94-percent-are-both-misleading/#slug_interstitial


Do abortion restrictions reduce the number of abortions?

Not usually:

"If restrictions were the main driver across the board, we'd expect birthrates to increase," said Ms. Nash, a writer of the policy analysis.

...from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/health/abortion-rate-dropped.html#article-summary

A comprehensive global study of abortion has concluded that abortion rates are similar in countries where it is legal and those where it is not, suggesting that outlawing the procedure does little to deter women seeking it.

...from https://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/12/world/12abortion.html#link-321c432d

Nash notes that the U.S. birthrate is also down, suggesting a decline in the number of women becoming pregnant. Also, the data come from 2017 -- before a series of restrictive abortion bans were passed in state legislatures around the country. Those bans have yet to take effect, and many are tied up in legal challenges.

...from https://www.npr.org/2019/09/18/761753866/u-s-abortion-rate-continues-long-term-decline#featuredStackSquareImage761201571

In 2017, the abortion rate -- which measures how common abortion is among women of childbearing age -- dropped to 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, down from 14.6 in 2014. That continues a downward trend since the peak in 1980 of 29.3.

Elizabeth Nash, senior state issues manager at Guttmacher, said the overall drop is not attributable to a growing number of abortion restrictions.

"I don't think there's a clear pattern around why rates are falling," Nash said. "They're going down across the country in nearly every state."

...from https://www.npr.org/2019/09/18/761753866/u-s-abortion-rate-continues-long-term-decline#storytext

Abortion restrictions were not the main driver of the decline in the U.S. abortion rate between 2011 and 2017. Rather, the decline in abortions appears to be related to declines in births and pregnancies overall. There are a number of potential explanations for this broad decline, some more plausible than others.

Still, abortion restrictions, particularly those imposing unnecessary, intentionally burdensome regulations on providers, played a role in shutting down abortion clinics in some states and thereby reducing access to abortion.

...from https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2019/09/us-abortion-rate-continues-drop-once-again-state-abortion-restrictions-are-not-main#block-bean-global-in-content-appeal

"The abortion industry will go to extraordinary lengths to obscure the fundamental reality that the child in the womb is a human being. The requirement to treat the remains of unborn children with dignity and respect would do nothing to affect the availability of abortion in Texas," said Attorney General Paxton. "The Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized that States have an interest in the lives of the unborn, and this Texas law serves to honor their dignity rather than treat them as medical waste."

...from https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/news/releases/ag-paxton-defends-humane-treatment-fetal-remains#main-content

Why is the abortion rate dropping?

New research suggests contraception and fewer pregnancies may be more responsible for the decline than state laws restricting abortion.

...from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/18/health/abortion-rate-dropped.html#article-summary

The data also suggested that the best way to reduce abortion rates was not to make abortion illegal but to make contraception more widely available, said Sharon Camp, chief executive of the Guttmacher Institute.

...from https://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/12/world/12abortion.html#link-321c432d

Some restrictions increase risks to the mother:

Patients' ability to be adequately informed in order to make sound medical decisions is impeded when state regulations require that women be provided inaccurate or misleading information about abortion's potential harms; and women's preferences for whether they want individualized counseling not be taken into consideration.

...from https://www.nap.edu/read/24950/chapter/7#164

A long term-study among US women found that about 99% of women felt that they made the right decision five years after they had an abortion. Relief was the primary emotion with few women feeling sadness or guilt. Social stigma was a main factor predicting negative emotions and regret years later.[123]

...from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion#cite_ref-122

On average, the incidence of abortion is similar in countries with restrictive abortion laws and those with more liberal access to abortion.[146] However, restrictive abortion laws are associated with increases in the percentage of abortions performed unsafely.[22][147][146] The unsafe abortion rate in developing countries is partly attributable to lack of access to modern contraceptives; according to the Guttmacher Institute, providing access to contraceptives would result in about 14.5 million fewer unsafe abortions and 38,000 fewer deaths from unsafe abortion annually worldwide.[148]

...from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion#cite_ref-Sedgh_2012_20-7

As mentioned above, the 2018 NAS study found that "numerous abortion-specific federal and state laws and regulations affect the delivery of abortion services."77 The NAS study states that safety "is enhanced when the abortion is performed as early in pregnancy as possible."78 The 2018 NAS study also states that "the risk of serious complication increases with weeks gestation. As the number of weeks increases, the invasiveness of the required procedure and the need for deeper levels of sedation also increase. Thus, delaying the abortion increases the risk of harm to the woman."79 The NAS study provides a table listing state regulations that may affect safety and quality by delaying abortion services or otherwise adversely impacting the delivery of abortion services.80 Examples given in the 2018 NAS study of state regulations that delay the abortion include the following:

• requiring women to make multiple in-person visits because, for example, ultrasound or counseling must be performed or conducted before the abortion;

• requiring mandatory waiting periods between in-person counseling and the abortion procedure;

• reducing the availability of care by restricting the types of providers and the settings in which abortion services can be provided;

• prohibiting public payers from paying for abortions; and

• prohibiting health insurance exchange plans or private insurance plans sold in the state from covering or paying for abortions, with few exceptions.81

Regarding the state requirements for mandatory counseling before an abortion is performed, the 2018 NAS study found that abortion patients in many of these states are offered or given inaccurate or misleading information (verbally or in writing) on: reversing medication abortions [Arkansas, South Dakota, Utah], risks to future fertility [Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas], possible breast cancer risk [Alaska, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas], and/or long-term mental health consequences of abortion [Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia].82

The 2018 NAS study notes that "[l]ong-established ethical and legal standards for informed consent in health care appear to have been compromised in the delivery of abortion care."83 The main objective of the informed consent process is that patients understand the nature and risks of their upcoming procedure. "[L]egally requiring providers to inform women about risks that are not supported and are even invalidated by scientific research violates the accepted standards of informed consent."84

...from PDF (pp 11-12) at https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2019/02/06/tough-questions-answers-late-term-abortions-law-women-who-get-them/

Overview of State Abortion-Specific Regulations That May Impact Safety and Quality, as of September 1, 2017

Does Abortion Care in the United States Meet the Six Attributes of Quality Health Care?


Ethics:


Do vaccines encourage abortion?

Rubella vaccine:

Rubella caused spontaneous abortions.

The irony of the protest is not lost on Plotkin. "I am fond of saying that rubella vaccine has prevented thousands more abortions than have ever been prevented by Catholic religionists," he says.

...from https://www.nature.com/news/medical-research-cell-division-1.13273?src=longreads#mediaplayer-7112371372241474

Although abortion was illegal in the United States (and in many states, birth control was, too), criminal laws contained an exception allowing doctors to perform "therapeutic abortions" for medical reasons. These abortions were meant for cases in which the life of the woman was in danger, but the term was vaguely defined. Some doctors began performing these types of abortions on women infected with rubella. After this came a push by doctors to legally define what conditions could allow a "therapeutic abortion," and that helped lead to a national movement to legalize abortion.

...from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2016/02/160205-zika-virus-rubella-abortion-brazil-birth-control-womens-health-history/#article__body

A specific example where the reasons for accepting vaccination are sufficiently serious to justify it, even though the vaccine has been developed with the help of cell lines derived from aborted fetal cells, is the case of rubella (German measles).7 The most important danger posed by spread of rubella is that of congenital rubella syndrome, which affects unborn children when their mothers become infected while pregnant. Congenital rubella syndrome can cause miscarriages and a wide range of severe birth defects. The only available vaccine, however, has been developed with the help of aborted fetal cell lines. In such a situation, parents are justified in having their children vaccinated against rubella, not only to avoid the effects of rubella on their children, but, secondarily and just as importantly, to prevent their children from becoming carriers of rubella, as the spread of rubella can lead to the infection of vulnerable pregnant women, thereby endangering their lives and the lives of their unborn children. It is important to note that the making of the rubella vaccine (or that of the new COVID-19 vaccines)8 does not involve cells taken directly from the body of an aborted child. Cells taken from two abortions in the 1960s were replicated in a laboratory to produce two cell lines that can be reproduced again and again, indefinitely. To make the rubella vaccine, cells from these cell lines are stimulated to produce the chemicals necessary for the vaccine. It is not as if the making of the vaccine required ever more cells from ever more abortions.

...from PDF (p 3-4) at https://www.usccb.org/resources/moral-considerations-regarding-new-covid-19-vaccines-1

HEK-293 cells are immortalised:

(According to this chart, COVID-19 vaccines use HEK-293 and PER.C6.)

Two common immortalized cell lines go by the monikers HEK-293 and HeLa.

...from https://www.sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-covid19-vaccine-ethical-issues#post-3089387

Immortalised cell lines are widely used as a simple model for more complex biological systems, for example for the analysis of the biochemistry and cell biology of mammalian (including human) cells.[2] The main advantage of using an immortal cell line for research is its immortality; the cells can be grown indefinitely in culture. This simplifies analysis of the biology of cells which may otherwise have a limited lifetime.

Immortalised cell lines can also be cloned giving rise to a clonal population which can, in turn, be propagated indefinitely.

...from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immortalised_cell_line#Role_and_uses

It should be noted that Hayflick's methods involved establishing a huge bank of WI-38 and MRC-5 cells that, while not capable of infinitely replicating like immortal cell lines, will serve vaccine production needs for several decades in the future.

...from https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/human-cell-strains-vaccine-development#body-mediaitem-switcher

Newly-developed fetal cell lines:

Although advocates of these vaccines argue no more abortions are needed, new cell lines derived from aborted fetal tissue continue to be developed. Researchers are concerned that cell reproduction in these strains will eventually become nonviable, or at least more difficult to access.

They are also motivated to discover increased duplication rates, higher limits to duplication, and improved suitability for viral propagation. Researchers have developed cell lines -- including IMR-90, IMR-91, PER.C6, and Walvax-2 -- from aborted fetuses, with the intent of supplementing or replacing WI-38 and MRC-5 for vaccine development.

...from https://thefederalist.com/2020/05/06/as-long-as-vaccines-are-tied-to-abortion-christians-need-exemptions/#scroll_start_asd

PER.C6 (1985):

IMR-90, IMR-91 (1975):

(I don't think IMR-90 or IMR-91 are used in US vaccines or US COVID-19 vaccines)

In 1975, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, under contract to the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to establish and maintain an Aging Cell Repository, was directed to establish and bank for future research a new human diploid cell line as a replacement for the cell line known as WI-38. WI-38 had been established and characterized in the early 1960's as a standard (reference cell line) in the burgeoning field of cell biology; but in the early 70's, the NIH stock of low passage WI-38 cells had become seriously depleted. The cell line developed at Coriell, identified as IMR-90 (1), was the first of several lines planned in support of NIA research programs and general cell biology research. IMR-90 was developed and characterized in such a way as to parallel WI-38 as closely as possible to minimize the variables in replacing WI-38 within ongoing laboratory programs. Extensive frozen stocks of IMR-90 at various passages were laid down to ensure future resources for cell biology research.

The IMR-90 cell line, like WI-38, was derived from lung tissue of a human female embryo following therapeutic abortion.

...from PDF (p 5) at https://cogforlife.org/imr90CoriellFullReport.pdf

Walvax-2 (2015):

(I don't think Walvax-2 is used in US vaccines or US COVID-19 vaccines)

We obtained 9 fetuses through rigorous screening based on carefully specified inclusion criteria (see Methods section). The Walvax-2 strain of cells met all of these criteria and proved to be the best cell line following careful evaluation. Therefore it was used for establishing a human diploid cell strain. Walvax-2 was derived from a fetal lung tissue, similar to WI-38 and MRC-5, and was obtained from a 3-month old female fetus aborted because of the presence of a uterine scar from a previous caesarean birth by a 27-year old healthy woman.

...from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21645515.2015.1009811#_i5

Current supply of fetal cells:

Because of the power of logarithmic growth, a cell line such as WI-38, the product of the lungs of a single aborted fetus, can give rise to 22 million tons of cells, supporting decades and perhaps centuries of vaccine production.

...from https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-human-cost-of-a-life-saving-vaccine-1487366342#cx-article-inline-newsletter-tile

HEK-293 is the name given to a specific line of cells used in various scientific applications. The original cells were taken from the kidney of a legally aborted foetus in 1973. HEK-293 cells used nowadays are clones of those original cells, but are not themselves the cells of aborted babies.

...from https://vk.ovg.ox.ac.uk/vk/vaccine-ingredients#Human%20cell%20strains

The WI-38 cell line and one other cell line created in 1966 from the lungs of an aborted fetus (known as MRC-5, after Britain's Medical Research Council) are available in such quantity that there's not a need to go on deriving new fetal cell lines. A Chinese company did do that last year because they were getting worried about access to MRC-5 cells. But by and large, new technologies have come along, making cells derived from aborted fetuses no longer necessary.

...from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/02/vaccine-race-history-science-politics-meredith-wadman/#145ho1via

The lungs of Mrs. X's aborted fetus were flown to Philadelphia and used by Hayflick to create the cell line known as WI-38, "WI" standing for the Wistar Institute. What's amazing is the power of exponential growth. Hayflick created about 800 tiny vials of these cells in 1962. Each vial had a couple of million cells in it, and each cell in each vial had the potential to multiply about another 40-50 times. This became known as the Hayflick Limit because that's when a normal cell in the lab will cease replicating and die. When you do the math you discover that one pint-sized lab bottle of these cells will produce around 20 million metric tons of cells. As a result, the supply is almost infinite and this cell line is still being used.

...from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/02/vaccine-race-history-science-politics-meredith-wadman/#universal-video-inlinePlayer_0000015a-614f-d7df-a9df-efef72090000

Moreover, HEK293 is an established cell line. What this means is that these cells have been used and studied by biologists for nearly half a century. They are well characterized, and they have been validated for their safety. I point this out because it helps explain why it is unheard of for a vaccine manufacturer to seek out new human fetal cells from a recent abortion. Such novel fetal cells would be uncharacterized, unvalidated, and unapproved by regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human vaccine production. Why waste time, effort, and money to obtain, characterize, and validate new human fetal cells when the classic fetal cell lines obtained decades ago like HEK293 are readily and cheaply available? Regrettably, Chinese scientists have recently established a novel human fetal cell line from an elective abortion for biomedical research. This was unnecessary, especially in light of the proven success of HEK293.

...from https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2020/05/63752/#wtr-content

The fetus -- female, 20 centimetres long and wrapped in a sterile green cloth -- was delivered to the Karolinska Institute in northwest Stockholm. There, the lungs were dissected, packed on ice and dispatched to the airport, where they were loaded onto a transatlantic flight. A few days later, Leonard Hayflick, an ambitious young microbiologist at the Wistar Institute for Anatomy and Biology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, unpacked that box.

Working with a pair of surgical scalpels, Hayflick minced the lungs -- each about the size of an adult fingertip -- then placed them in a flask with a mix of enzymes that fragmented them into individual cells. These he transferred into several flat-sided glass bottles, to which he added a nutrient broth. He laid the bottles on their sides in a 37 °C incubation room. The cells began to divide.

So began WI-38, a strain of cells that has arguably helped to save more lives than any other created by researchers. Many of the experimental cell lines available at that time, such as the famous HeLa line, had been grown from cancers or were otherwise genetically abnormal. WI-38 cells became the first 'normal' human cells available in virtually unlimited quantities to scientists and to industry and, as a result, have become the most extensively described and studied normal human cells available to this day.

...from https://www.nature.com/news/medical-research-cell-division-1.13273?src=longreads#article-body

So, now you might be wondering, if cells can only reach 50 passages, how do we still have cells to make vaccines almost 50 years later?

When scientists are passaging the cells, instead of continuing to make more and more containers, they freeze some. For example, instead of making 25 containers in passage 2, the scientist may decide to make five new containers and freeze the cells that would have gone into the other 20 containers. The remaining cells are placed into vials for the freezer. When the cells are frozen, they are stored at about -200 degrees C in liquid nitrogen. At this temperature, biological activity stops. But, when the cells are thawed and placed in new containers with nutrients, they again start to grow.

Depending upon the cell type and container size they are using, the quantity of cells in this example could produce eight to twenty vials of cells to freeze. These passage 2 cells can be thawed, typically one or two vials at a time, to start the cell growth process again anytime the currently growing cells get too old. Likewise, in a few days the five new flasks will grow to confluence, and the same process can be followed, creating more vials to freeze. The important point to understand though is that cells grow exponentially, so scientists can grow large quantities of cells to use immediately or to store for future use. In the case of the fetal cells, this process was used to ensure a virtually endless supply.

...from https://hillemanfilm.com/stanley-plotkin#main


Does fetal tissue research encourage more abortions?

Fetal cells vs fetal tissue:

Human fetal tissue is defined as tissue or cells obtained from a dead human embryo or fetus after a spontaneous or induced abortion or stillbirth. This definition does not include established human fetal cell lines.

...from https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/html5/section_4/4.1.14_human_fetal_tissue_research.htm#mc-main-content

There is no evidence that fetal tissue research increases the abortion rate:

"There is no evidence that the use of donated tissue from fetal remains has any effect on whether women choose abortions, and no evidence that decades of research using donated tissue has ever led to an increase in the number of abortions," said Alta Charo of the University of Wisconsin.

...from https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/05/trump-administration-imposes-new-restrictions-on-fetal-tissue-research-1354165#i9ca903ca70f34261a0a1cb7467395793

The panel's report noted that "the reasons for terminating a pregnancy are complex, varied, and deeply personal" and "regarded it highly unlikely that a woman would be encouraged to make this decision [to abort] because of the knowledge that the fetal remains might be used in research" (DHHS/NIH, 1988:3). In addition, the panel noted the lack of any evidence that, over the past 30 years, the possibility of donating fetal tissue for research purposes had resulted in an increase in the number of abortions (DHHS/NIH, 1988:3).

...from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234204/#_ddd0000101_

Legislative proposals that halt research from cells already developed from fetal tissue and/or restrict scientists' access to new tissue or cell lines would have serious downstream consequences:

• They would limit new research on vaccines not yet developed, for treatments not yet discovered, for causes of diseases not yet understood.

• Some research questions cannot be answered using previous cell lines that have been immortalized; such proposals would prevent research that requires tissue that has been obtained more recently.

• Such proposals would restrict research only to organs or tissues for which cell lines currently exist, preventing new avenues of research exploring differences between tissue types.

• Such proposals would restrict access to new tissue necessary for the development and validation of novel research tools and technologies -- essential to cutting-edge research.

• Organs and tissues are not just composed of a single type of cell, but rather an environment of multiple cell types; proposed restrictions would prevent scientists from studying the behavior of cells as they exist in our bodies.

As a prominent bioethicist has observed, the legal and ethical rules enforced for fetal tissue donation are similar in many respects to the ethics of organ donation. The ability to donate fetal tissue for medical research is not linked to an increase in the number of abortions practiced. Nor can we reasonably expect a limitation on fetal tissue donation or research to reduce the number of abortions. Rather, it will prevent the use of tissue that would otherwise be destroyed, hindering efforts to better understand, diagnose, and treat diseases.

...from PDF (p 1) at https://www.aamc.org/media/11906/download

But fetal tissue research requires abortions:

There are drawbacks: the BLT mouse's average lifespan is relatively short, at only around 8.5 months, because the animals tend to develop cancers of the thymus. And the humanized immune system is not inherited, so the model must be created again and again -- leading to the constant demand for fetal tissue that so disturbs abortion opponents.

...from https://www.nature.com/news/the-truth-about-fetal-tissue-research-1.18960#mediaplayer-7323231449513755

But off-the-shelf fetal cell lines are of limited use for scientists because they do not faithfully mimic native tissue and represent only a subset of cell types: WI-38 and MRC-5, for example, were derived from fetal lungs. The lines can also accumulate mutations after replicating in vitro over time. And creating humanized mice such as Su's requires whole pieces of fetal organs to provide sufficient numbers of stem cells. For all of these reasons, researchers turn to fresh tissue.

In the United States, this is collected at medical centres and clinics that perform abortions under a patchwork of laws and regulations governing consent, tissue collection and transfer (see 'Fetal tissue and the law').

...from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-truth-about-fetal-tissue-research/#dfp-right-article-mobile

Ethics:

A second concern involves fairness. Every human being should reasonably be able to expect that incentives for his or her death will not be created, and that the motivation for contributing to his or her survival will not be diminished.

...from https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2020/04/62734/#wtr-content

Some scientists involved in fetal tissue research have been afraid to speak out.7 They have seen how abortion providers have been targeted, and now they too fear for their personal safety. Others have spoken out strongly to defend the importance of their work, pointing out that tissue that would otherwise be discarded has played a vital role in lifesaving medical advances and holds great promise for new breakthroughs.

...from https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2016/fetal-tissue-research-weapon-and-casualty-war-against-abortion#article-body

Regarding the situation today, Scott Kominers, a research scholar at the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago, Illinois, argues that offering donors a share in future profits from their tissues could encourage them to donate and fuel medical progress12. "We think that if you offer some sort of value-based compensation you'd be likely to boost tissue supply," he says. But Steven Joffe, a paediatric oncologist who directs the ethics programme at Harvard's translational medicine centre in Boston, Massachusetts, is concerned that compensating donors may paradoxically decrease their willingness to donate tissues, by taking altruism out of the equation.

...from https://www.nature.com/news/medical-research-cell-division-1.13273?src=longreads#mediaplayer-7112371372241474

First, the appropriator could make the person who committed the past evil action think that his evil act was in fact, not evil. This is the moral offense we call scandal. The man who purchases the stolen item may, because of his actions, convince the burglar that theft is not evil. The burglar steals again. Second, the appropriator could make the person who committed the past action think that he should commit it again because he would benefit again from the appropriator's future actions. This is the moral offense we call cooperation. Here, the man who purchases the stolen item may, because of his actions, cause the burglar to believe that if he stole again, the appropriator would reward him with another purchase. In this case as well, the burglar steals again.

...from https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2020/05/63752/#wtr-content

According to written testimony from the Bishops' Committee for ProLife Activities of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, "it may not be wrong in principle for someone unconnected with an abortion to make use of a fetal organ from an unborn child who died as the result of an abortion; but it is difficult to see how this practice can be institutionalized [including arrangements to ensure informed consent] without threatening a morally unacceptable collaboration with the abortion industry" (DHHS/NIH, 1988:E42; for a slightly different version, see G1). What may be possible in the abstract, in principle, or in theory is not possible in practice because of the institutionalization of abortion and the way fetal tissue is currently procured. James Bopp and James Burtchaell write in their dissent: "Our argument, then, is that whatever the researcher's intentions may be, by entering into an institutionalized partnership with the abortion industry as a supplier of preference, he or she becomes complicit, though after the fact, with the abortions that have expropriated the tissue for his or her purposes. It is obvious that if research is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the Federal Government also enters into this same complicity" (Bopp and Burtchaell, 1988:70).

...from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234204/#_ddd0000100_


Does current legislation ethically separate abortion from fetal tissue research?

At the source is the evil act of abortion; at the end of the line, it is morally acceptable for someone to take the vaccine.

...from https://www.aei.org/op-eds/abortion-ethics-and-the-coronavirus-vaccines/#the-main-content

Examination of the arguments pro and con suggests that fetal tissue use cannot be completely insulated from the issue of abortion.

...from https://jme.bmj.com/content/17/2/70.long#p-1

With regard to the issue of complicty, fetal tissue use is morally isolated from abortion, provided that the panel's guidelines are followed.

...from PDF (p 73) at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1376000

In Sweden, "research material like tissues from aborted fetuses were available and used for research without consent or the knowledge of patients for a long time", both before and after consent rules were tightened later in the 1960s, says Solveig Jülich, a historian of medicine at Stockholm University.

...from https://www.nature.com/news/medical-research-cell-division-1.13273?src=longreads#mediaplayer-7112371372241474

Ideally, the request and the decision to donate should follow the abortion decision itself, but because postmortem tissue deteriorates quickly and cryogenic storage is not possible for many transplants, "the pregnant woman must be consulted before the abortion is actually performed" (DHHS/NIH, 1988:10).

...from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234204/#ddd0000102">

Theologians distinguish many degrees and kinds of material cooperation, some forms of which are so closely connected to the principal action that the cooperator shares in the moral responsibility of that action. Nevertheless, this is not always the case. For example, an employer pays employees and thereby cooperates in their financial activities, but the employer remains normally free of moral responsibility for how employees use their money.

...from PDF (p 60) at https://www.immunize.org/talking-about-vaccines/maher.pdf

Thus, the panelists who voted for using fetal tissue for research subscribed to one of two views: (1) that abortion is morally acceptable and the use of aborted fetal tissue for HFTTR [human fetal tissue transplantation research] is morally acceptable; or (2) that abortion is "immoral or undesirable," although legal, and HFTTR can be morally separated from abortion and can proceed with appropriate safeguards. The majority rejected the position that HFTTR should be prohibited from receiving federal funds because it is, morally speaking, inextricably linked to or would lead to immoral abortions.

...from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234204/#_ddd0000099_

Still, it remains necessary to inquire into the relationship between the production of the vaccines and the two abortions that yielded the tissue. According to all available reports,33 in both cases the decision to abort was independent of the desire to make use of fetal tissue. In other words, the abortions would have taken place whether or not the cell-line research would have followed. This means that the abortions were not undertaken in order to produce vaccines or to fulfill any other research purpose. Moreover, nothing indicates that the vaccine production requires cell lines from electively aborted fetuses; tissue that is sufficiently healthy to produce cell lines of the type requisite for vaccine production might have become available from a fetus that died from some other cause. Granted, healthy tissue is more commonly found in electively aborted fetuses, but nothing indicates that such tissue is necessarily unavailable from other sources. These points suggest that vaccine production and, hence, use is morally separable from abortion, even though current production in fact depends upon cell lines derived from aborted fetal tissue. Vaccine production and abortion are morally independent, which is to say that vaccine use and opposition to abortion are in principle morally coherent.

...from PDF (p 59) at https://www.immunize.org/talking-about-vaccines/maher.pdf


Do the lives saved through vaccination justify the abortions that produced the vaccine?

No...

You cannot point to good consequences to justify the killing of an unborn baby. Assuming that Dutch baby was killed in an elective abortion, nothing done with HEK-293 (and scientists and drug companies have done plenty of good things with HEK-293) can make the abortion OK.

...from https://www.aei.org/op-eds/abortion-ethics-and-the-coronavirus-vaccines/#the-main-content

Father Nic Austriaco, a pro-life priest and biology professor, wrote this year, "I received an e-mail a few months ago from Professor Frank Graham, who established this cell line. He tells me that to the best of his knowledge, the exact origin of the HEK293 fetal cells is unclear. They could have come from either a spontaneous miscarriage or an elective abortion."

But that account isn't corroborated. Graham, the scientist in the Dutch lab, told AFP this year, "Abortion was illegal in the Netherlands until 1984 except to save the life of the mother. Consequently I have always assumed that the HEK cells used by the Leiden lab must have derived from a therapeutic abortion."

That argument doesn't hold up, either. Abortion, while technically illegal in the Netherlands in 1971 and 1972, was not uncommon. The most thorough study I could find of Dutch abortion history estimates that in 1971 and 1972, there were 37,000 abortions in the Netherlands, which is about half the United States' current abortion rate per population.

When I pressed Graham on the history, he pleaded ignorance. This was 50 years ago, and the kidney cells were prepared in the lab before he used them. His uncertainty on the provenance of the cells may be frustrating to a pro-life ethicist, but it also bears moral weight: Graham doesn't know because he wasn't involved in the abortion.

That is, if this child was killed by an elective abortion, Graham did not formally cooperate with that evil.

Again, if it was an elective abortion -- the mother simply decided she didn't want this child -- that abortion was evil, even if Graham made something good come of it. You can't justify killing an innocent person because you might be able to do something good with her corpse.

...from https://www.aei.org/op-eds/abortion-ethics-and-the-coronavirus-vaccines/#the-main-content

Babies vs lives saved:

But this is precisely what the use of fetal tissue from aborted human beings involves: it predicates the health of some on the deliberate destruction of the lives and health of others.

...from https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2020/04/62734/#wtr-content

"These kinds of situations aren't straightforwardly 'ethical' or 'unethical' -- they involve competing ethical concerns, all of which need to be taken into consideration," says Anne Wilkinson, programme officer at the Nuffield Council on Bioethics who has written about Scotland's Guthrie cards.

...from https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190723-the-ethics-of-using-nazi-science#

He interprets the majority's proposals as an effort to balance interests "through a policy of damage containment" (Bleich, 1988:40). By contrast, he notes that the duty to rescue human life through fetal tissue transplants is diminished because the studies at issue are research protocols with uncertain, distant benefits rather than certain immediate good for identified lives, and because the "moral harm" of the increase in the number of abortions is certain and immediate. Hence, "on balance, the duty to refrain from a course of action that will have the effect of increasing instances of feticide must be regarded as the more compelling moral imperative" (Bleich, 1988:43). This formulation appears to leave open the possibility of a different balance if the procedure reached the point, without federally funded research, of providing an immediate, certain benefit. By contrast, the majority of the panel held that the increase in the number of abortions was not certain and immediate and could be avoided at least in part through the proposed guidelines.

...from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234204/#ddd0000102

Fetal tissue research probably does not cause abortions:

Given the panel's conclusion that research use of fetal remains is ethical, it seems clear that the needs of current and future patients outweigh what can only be symbolic or political gestures of concern.

...from PDF (p 891) at https://europepmc.org/article/med/26267448

the panel majority was quick to respond to this argument, pointing out that researchers would play no causal role in the abortions, that they were merely using tissue that would otherwise be discarded (16).

...from PDF (p 73) at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1376000

He stressed that he and his colleagues think hard about the ethics of their work. "We are not happy about how the material became available, but we would not be willing to see it wasted and just thrown away."

...from https://www.nature.com/news/the-truth-about-fetal-tissue-research-1.18960#mediaplayer-7323231449513755

Cooperation that involves casual actions--for example, driving the getaway car after a robbery--must be distinguished from actions that only symbolize, convey, or express approval but do not materially contribute to the actions themselves. Burtchaell invoked various analogies. One involved the banker in a town in Florida who decided to accept deposits from participants in the drug trade on the grounds that this action would benefit the community and that the drug trade would continue regardless of what the banker did. Another was of the researcher who visits an abortionist each week to obtain fetal tissue but who each time expresses his disapproval while planning to return the next week. Burtchaell contends that these actions involve complicity in the moral wrongdoing of others, whether drug trafficking or abortion.

...from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234204/#_ddd0000100_

Vaccines save lives:

David Oshinsky, the author of Polio: An American Story, believes that the success of vaccines in eradicating so many deadly diseases is precisely why the anti-vaxx movement has gained ground in recent years. "These vaccines have done away with the evidence of how frightening these diseases were," he told me.

...from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/26/last-iron-lung-paul-alexander-polio-coronavirus#rich-link-2

Virtually every person in this country has benefited from research using fetal tissue. Every child who's been spared the risks and misery of chickenpox, rubella, or polio can thank the Nobel Prize recipients and other scientists who used such tissue in research yielding the vaccines that protect us (and give even the unvaccinated the benefit of herd immunity).

...from PDF (p 890) at https://europepmc.org/article/med/26267448

Vaccines made using WI-38 cells have immunized hundreds of millions of people against rubella, rabies, adenovirus, polio, measles, chickenpox and shingles. In the 1960s and 1970s, the cells helped epidemiologists to identify viral culprits in disease outbreaks. Their normality has made them valuable control cells for comparison with diseased ones. And at the Wistar Institute, as in labs and universities around the world, they remain a leading tool for probing the secrets of cellular ageing and cancer.

"Here's a clump of cells that has had an enormous impact on human health," says Paul Offit, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "These cells from one fetus have no doubt saved the lives of millions of people."

...from https://www.nature.com/news/medical-research-cell-division-1.13273?src=longreads#mediaplayer-7112371372241474

Risks of not vaccinating:

"You have to think, well what about the ethical consequences of not using the cell line?" says Olshansky. "Just keep in mind that they are a critical link in the chain, in the development of viral vaccines."

...from https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20201103-the-controversial-cells-that-saved-10-million-lives#

Do you recall seeing film clips of individuals burning themselves in protest over some issue? Perhaps it attracted attention to the cause, but was the sacrifice necessary or effective? I believe an effective protest against using cell cultures derived from abortion can be made without putting ourselves and our children at risk.

...from https://cmda.org/article/is-vaccination-complicit-with-abortion/#fl-post-6979

One is morally free to use the vaccine regardless of its historical association with abortion. The reason is that the risk to public health, if one chooses not to vaccinate, outweighs the legitimate concern about the origins of the vaccine. This is especially important for parents, who have a moral obligation to protect the life and health of their children and those around them.

...from https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/human-cell-strains-vaccine-development#body-mediaitem-switcher

To prevent the spread of the yellow fever virus, yellow fever vaccinations are required for travelers to enter numerous countries around the world. Those who are traveling from nations where yellow fever is common and yet who choose not to vaccinate themselves against yellow fever are free to do so, but they are also not permitted to enter those countries that require a yellow fever vaccine from travelers to protect their own citizens.

...from https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2020/05/63752/#wtr-content


Is organ donation more ethical than fetal tissue donation?

As it reasoned its way to these recommendations, the panel noted that it is commonplace to use organs and tissues from deceased people, whether their death was caused by accident or homicide. Homicide must surely be viewed as morally evil by anyone who decries the loss of fetal life, and yet no concern is raised about personal or societal complicity with the underlying act. Organ and tissue transplant recipients often talk about the complex emotions that arise from knowing one's own life was saved because another life was taken, but they do not then feel responsible for the other person's death.

...from PDF (p 891) at https://europepmc.org/article/med/26267448

If one assumes, as Burtchaell and other abortion opponents do, that fetuses have the moral status of persons, then the problem in using fetal tissue is that the individual who would ordinarily serve as guardian of the remains, the mother of the fetus, has made a decision resulting in the fetus's destruction. Burtchaell asserts that in making such a decision the mother forfeits her moral authority to donate the fetal remains. He argues that we would make a similar judgement if, for example, a man were to kill his wife. He would be morally disqualified from acting as executor of her estate, and it would be inappropriate to vest in him the right to donate her organs for transplantation. For similar reasons, the doctor who performs the abortion could not appropriately serve as guardian of the fetal remains. A policy of allowing the father of the fetus to authorise donation would also be unaccepable [sic], because in many cases the father either is unavailable or concurs with the abortion. Moreover, agents of the government (such as coroners) could not legitimately give consent because in permitting abortions the government forfeits any moral claim it might have to serve as guardian of fetal remains. Thus, according to Burtchaell there is no one in a moral position to provide authorisation of the use of fetal tissue for research or transplantation.

...from PDF (p 71) at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1376000


Is fetal cell usage more ethical than fetal tissue research?

Initially, Dr. Plotkin faced scrutiny from his colleagues for this novel approach to getting around unwanted viruses in the vaccine. But, over time, as experience showed the approach was safe, scientists and government officials accepted that his was a useful approach. Eventually, the chickenpox, shingles, hepatitis A, and one of the rabies vaccines were also made using this or a second fetal cell line, also isolated in the 1960s.

It took longer for religious leaders to determine that they, too, accepted the use of fetal cells to make vaccines. Eventually, all of the major religions made statements in support of their use, arguing that administering vaccines grown in these cells was less "sinful" than allowing the diseases to cause disability and death by not using the vaccines.

...from https://hillemanfilm.com/stanley-plotkin#main

I don't think there have been similar statements from religious leaders about fetal tissue research.

When aborted fetal tissue is transplanted into others for experimental or therapeutic purposes, the very use of the tissue uses it up and additional uses require an additional supply of tissue, normally made available by further abortions. In vaccine production, the currently available cell lines provide all the fetal material that is needed now and, apparently, in the future. Indeed, the success of these particular cell lines makes it unlikely that any new lines will be developed (whether from induced or spontaneously aborted children). Hence, the production techniques themselves do not require further abortions.

...from PDF (p 59) at https://www.immunize.org/talking-about-vaccines/maher.pdf


Is abortion following rape more ethical than elective abortion?

~1% of women listed rape as reason for their abortion.

"You can abort the child, but not the experience."

...from https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-legitimate-children-of-rape#main-content

Mothers may also face legal difficulties. In most US states, the rapist maintains parental rights.[74] Research by legal scholar Shauna Prewitt indicates that the resulting continued contact with the rapist is damaging for women who keep the child."[74] She wrote in 2012 that in the US, 31 states allow rapists to assert custody and visitation rights over children conceived through rape.[72]

...from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pregnancy_from_rape#cite_ref-FOOTNOTEde_Brouwer2005144_73-0

"I personally have lobbied on behalf of legislation which includes exceptions because if we can work with people on the other side to ban 98% of abortions we'll take it. But when asked what we support, we tell them the truth, even though that's difficult to hear and gets you called nasty names on Twitter for a week," Hawkins said. "We know the circumstances of your conception don't change the fundamentals of what is created -- a unique, distinct human being that has a right to life just like you or I."

...from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/05/24/rape-and-incest-account-few-abortions-so-why-all-attention/1211175001/#

Estimates of the numbers of pregnancies from rape vary widely.[8][9] Recent estimates suggest that rape conception happens between 25,000 and 32,000 times each year in the U.S. In a 1996 three-year longitudinal study of 4,000 American women, physician Melisa Holmes estimated from data from her study that forced sexual intercourse causes over 32,000 pregnancies in the United States each year.[10] Physician Felicia H. Stewart and economist James Trussell estimated that the 333,000 assaults and rapes reported in the US in 1998 caused about 25,000 pregnancies, and up to 22,000 of those pregnancies could have been prevented by prompt medical treatment, such as emergency contraception.[11]

...from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pregnancy_from_rape#Rape-pregnancy_incidence


Is therapeutic abortion more ethical than elective abortion?

"I understand a lot of people disagree with my view, but I believe that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws. And when you present it in the context of Zika or any prenatal condition, it's a difficult question and a hard one," Rubio told Politico. "But if I'm going to err, I'm going to err on the side of life."

...from https://www.cnn.com/2016/08/09/health/rubella-abortion-zika/index.html#paragraph_2A1F6509-6D54-B35E-7023-6D0047C87BAA

ACOG, Oct. 19: Contrary to the inaccurate statements made yesterday by Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), abortions are necessary in a number of circumstances to save the life of a woman or to preserve her health. Unfortunately, pregnancy is not a risk-free life event, particularly for many women with chronic medical conditions. Despite all of our medical advances, more than 600 women die each year from pregnancy and childbirth-related reasons right here in the US. In fact, many more women would die each year if they did not have access to abortion to protect their health or to save their lives.

...from https://www.factcheck.org/2012/10/the-life-of-the-mother/#dpsp-post-content-markup


Is elective abortion more ethical than murder?

At the very least, one can argue that the potential of the fetus to become a person gives abortion some moral significance.

...from PDF (p 74) at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1376000

Liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, no one wants more abortions to occur each year. President Bill Clinton set the standard of "safe, legal, and rare." That's reasonable.

...from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/abortion-murder-or-medica_b_4986637#us_4986637

Is abortion late birth control? Early infanticide? Or something in between?

In Roe v. Wade (1973), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution doesn't give government the power to answer those questions. Instead, before viability (the point at which a fetus might be able to survive outside the womb), that power lies with individual citizens and their doctors, who must be allowed to follow their individual conscience and religious beliefs in answering those questions for themselves.

...from page 3 at https://www.google.com/books/edition/Scarlet_A/7AFCDwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Is+abortion+late+birth+control%3F+Early+infanticide%3F+Or+some-thing+in+between%3F+In+Roe+v.+Wade+(1973),+the+U.S.+Supreme+Court+ruled+that+the+Constitution+doesn%27t+give+government+the+power+to+answer+those+questions.+Instead,+before+viability+(the+point+at+which+a+fetus+might+be+able+to+survive+outside+the+womb),+that+power+lies+with+individual+citizens+and+their+doctors,+who+must+be+allowed+to+follow+their+individual+conscience+and+religious+beliefs+in+answering+those+questions+for+themselves.&pg=PA3&printsec=frontcover

But abortion restrictions do not deny sexual and reproductive autonomy to women; reality does. While pregnant, a woman is carrying a new and vulnerable human being within her. Unlike a biological father, a pregnant woman cannot just walk away; to approach the desired autonomy of the child-abandoning man, a pregnant woman must engage in a life-destroying act.

...from https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/01/equality-autonomy-abortion/605356/#injected-recirculation-link-0

Women do not choose abortion to exercise some abstract right to reproductive equality. Nor do they choose abortion because they want to deprive their children of the right to life. They choose abortion because it seems like the only viable alternative at the time. Far from exercising a right to choose, nine times out of ten it is an acknowledgement of a lack of other choices.

...from https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/why-i-cannot-think-of-abortion-as-murder-1.300001#at-243a2e04-1587-497b-b2c3-b5c29d8ef9e6

To some extent we rely on the concept of potential self-awareness and rationality with adult notions of personhood. There are times when even adult humans do not actually exhibit self-awareness and rationality, such as when asleep, or in a temporary coma, or drunk, or overwhelmed with emotion. But during those times when higher levels of consciousness defy us, regardless of how long they last, as long as we have the potential to later exhibit self-awareness and rationality, we would expect others to recognize our personhood.

...from https://www.utm.edu/staff/jfieser/class/160/5-abortion.htm#

TABLE 3. Percentage distribution of women having an abortion, by their most important reason for having the abortion, 2004 and 1987
Reason20041987
(N=957)(N=1,773)
Not ready for a(nother) child†/timing is wrong2527
Can't afford a baby now2321
Have completed my childbearing/have other people depending on me/
children are grown
198***
Don't want to be a single mother/am having relationship problems813***
Don't feel mature enough to raise a(nother) child/feel too young711**
Would interfere with education or career plans410***
Physical problem with my health43
Possible problems affecting the health of the fetus33
Was a victim of rape<0.51
Husband or partner wants me to have an abortion<0.51
Parents want me to have an abortion<0.5<0.5
Don't want people to know I had sex or got pregnant<0.51***
Other61
Total100100
**p<.01. ***p<.001. †This was a write-in response in 2004 and 1987. Source: 1987--reference 4

...from PDF (p 114) at https://www.guttmacher.org/journals/psrh/2005/reasons-us-women-have-abortions-quantitative-and-qualitative-perspectives

Listening to the almost apologetic language of the NNII explanation, it becomes quite apparent that there is an ethical problem with abortion. They place great moral emphasis on the fact that these tiny human beings were not aborted for the express purpose of harvesting their cells. But why should that matter, unless there's something wrong with abortion? Why would the use of aborted fetuses be any more or less offensive if it was done for the express purpose of creating these vaccines? They point out that the "cellular biologists who made the cell cultures did not induce the abortions." Again, why should that matter, unless they're trying to distance themselves from the act of abortion? And if there's nothing wrong with abortion, why bother making such distinctions? Why summarize their ethical defense with the argument that, "additional abortions are not needed for the production of these vaccines."?4 Why point out that the use of the rubella vaccine prevents abortions, if there's nothing wrong with abortion in the first place? And why reference a statement from the Vatican declaring that, in the absence of an alternative, these vaccines may still be used in good conscience?5

Are they simply trying to appease those who are ideologically opposed to abortion? Perhaps, but it's far more likely that they feel the weight of this ethical compromise as much as anyone. Specifically, they've already argued that the reason these cell lines are so important is because animal cells aren't as safe and reliable. Nor are synthetics. Only human cells provide an optimal environment for growing the viruses necessary to produce these vaccines. And where is the only place human cells come from? From human beings. The only way abortion can be an ethically-indifferent procedure is if it doesn't kill an innocent human being, but the only way that fetal remains can be an ideal vehicle for vaccine creation is if they come from a living human being. And there's the rub. If human fetuses aren't human beings, of course there's nothing wrong with abortion. But if human fetuses aren't human beings, then they wouldn't have been so well suited for the creation of these kinds of vaccinations in the first place. You can't have it both ways, without severely twisting the definition of "human being."

...from https://abort73.com/abortion_facts/vaccines_and_abortion/#st-1


CMP sting videos:


Overview (YouTube)


"So then you're just kind of cognizant of where you put your graspers, you try to intentionally go above and below the thorax, so that, you know, we've been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I'm not gonna crush that part, I'm gonna basically crush below, I'm gonna crush above, and I'm gonna see if I can get it all intact."

The above quote is taken from this YouTube.

Less-edited version of the above YouTube

The Planned Parenthood videos caused even some supporters of fetal tissue research to feel uncomfortable. In one video, physician Deborah Nucatola, the group's senior director of medical services, describes how she crushes fetuses above and below key organs to preserve them intact for research. She also described turning a fetus into a breech presentation to deliver the head last, when the cervix is more dilated, thus preserving the brain.

This raised the question of whether physicians are altering abortion techniques to accommodate research requests, violating a widely held precept of research ethics. Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at the New York University School of Medicine, dismisses the videos as "pure politics", but some of the footage "did get my eyebrow to arch", he says. "You can't use a different approach to the abortion to try to preserve something. Those are just no-no's."

...from https://www.nature.com/news/the-truth-about-fetal-tissue-research-1.18960#mediaplayer-7323231449513755

Fetal pain:

The science examining when a fetus begins to feel pain is complex. Most scientists who have expressed views on the issue have said they do not think the neurological wiring to feel pain is in place until a fetus is further along in a pregnancy, past the point when nearly all abortions occur.

...from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/05/us/utah-abortion-law-fetal-anesthesia.html#link-61855858

Many states restrict abortions at 22 weeks gestational age or 20 weeks post-fertilization, arguing the fetus has the ability to feel pain at this point in development, contrary to medical evidence. A systematic review of literature on fetal pain found that pain perception is unlikely before weeks 29 or 30 gestational age. ACOG has found "no legitimate scientific data or information" that supports the assertion that fetuses feel pain at 20 weeks post-fertilization, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has also concluded fetal pain is not possible before 24 weeks, given immature brain development and neural networks.

...from https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/fact-sheet/abortions-later-in-pregnancy/#endnote_link_441779-2

More info from ACOG, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Prenatal pain (Wikipedia)


How meaningful were CMP's video edits?

According to the investigation, the reviewers could not determine "the extent to which C.M.P.'s undisclosed edits and cuts distort the meaning of the encounters the videos purport to document."

But, it said, "the manipulation of the videos does mean they have no evidentiary value in a legal context and cannot be relied upon for any official inquiries" unless C.M.P. provides investigators with its original material, and that material is independently authenticated as unaltered.

For example, Mr. Fredericks said recordings in Houston and Denver were each missing about 30 minutes of video, judging from time stamps and frame counters on the recordings.

...from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/us/abortion-planned-parenthood-videos.html?_r=1#link-2a20b2a4

A transcription service was hired to transcribe the videos, without being told that Planned Parenthood was the client, to compare with transcripts publicized by the anti-abortion group. That comparison, the analysis said, showed "substantive omissions" in the group's version.

...from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/28/us/abortion-planned-parenthood-videos.html#link-2a20b2a4

In a less-edited version of the first video, PPFA staff repeatedly state that the organization makes no money from tissue donations, and that the $30--100 charge only covers procurement costs.[4] PPFA have said they may donate fetal tissue at the request of a patient, but such tissue is never sold.[4][13] At one point in the video, a PPFA staffer states "nobody should be 'selling' tissue," and "that's just not the goal here."[14]

...from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_Parenthood_2015_undercover_videos_controversy#cite_ref-NYT_11-1

Fusion GPS analysts and Mr. Fredericks reviewed CMP's short videos in conjunction with the "full footage" tapes and conclude that the short videos significantly distort and misrepresent the conversations depicted in the full footage videos. Mr. Fredericks notes that the short videos contain "edited conversations where some spoken words are eliminated and some spoken words are added out of context." The short videos of both the California 2014 and California 2015 interviews contain camera angles not visible in the corresponding "full footage" videos. The short video of the Texas interview contains video and audio that do not appear in the Texas "full footage" video.

...from PDF (p 8) at http://ppfa.pr-optout.com/ViewAttachment.aspx?EID=mr9WXYw4u2IxYnni1dBRVk3HDyuhhkPMnFMCvK5fVC8%3d


Investigations:

Investigations (Wikipedia)

TWELVE STATES that undertook investigations of Planned Parenthood found no wrongdoing. An additional eight states refused even to investigate, citing lack of credible evidence.

...from https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-planned-parenthood-witch-hunt/2016/02/20/a6cb0e5c-d660-11e5-b195-2e29a4e13425_story.html#U10207305599371sD

Officials in twelve states initiated investigations into claims made by the videos, but none found Planned Parenthood clinics to have sold tissue for profit as alleged by CMP and other anti-abortion groups. An investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee found no evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood. A select committee, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Select Investigative Panel on Planned Parenthood, was formed to further investigate Planned Parenthood. The Republican-controlled Select Investigative Panel released its final report on December 30, 2016, recommending that Planned Parenthood be defunded. The report was heavily criticized as partisan and inaccurate by Democratic members of the committee, Planned Parenthood, and some news media.

In January 2016, a Texas grand jury chartered to investigate Planned Parenthood found no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood but instead indicted CMP founder David Daleiden and member Sandra Merritt for creating and using false government IDs and attempting to purchase fetal tissue. The charges against Daleiden and Merritt in Texas were dismissed six months later on the grounds that the grand jury's indictment authority had extended only to Planned Parenthood. In March 2017, Daleiden and Merritt were charged with 15 felonies in the State of California -- one for each of the people whom they had filmed without consent, and one for criminal conspiracy to invade privacy. In June 2017, all the invasion of privacy charges (but not that of conspiracy) were dismissed with leave to amend, but in July 2017, the State of California re-filed amended charges.[3]

...from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_Parenthood_2015_undercover_videos_controversy#cite_ref-2

Democratic investigation:

At present, only two out of PPFA's 59 affiliates are participating in fetal tissue donation, and only one affiliate is receiving any reimbursement for costs. An additional four affiliates facilitated fetal tissue donation for research in the past five years.30 The California affiliate that is currently participating receives a reimbursement of $60 per tissue specimen from a TPO [tissue procurement organization]. The other four affiliates, which had participated in fetal tissue donation programs in the past five years, either sought no reimbursement or had reimbursement rates ranging from $45 to $55 per tissue specimen.31 The letter states, "[i]n every case, the affiliates report that these amounts were intended to recover only their costs, as allowed under the federal law and our guidance."32 The evidence received by the Committee during the course of this investigation supports this assertion.

...from PDF (pp 7-8) at https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/committee-finds-no-evidence-to-support-allegations-against-planned

The contracts between StemExpress and two Planned Parenthood affiliates state, "The reasonable costs associated with the services specified in this Agreement shall be fifty-five dollars ($55.00) per POC [product of conception] determined in the clinic to be usable."36

...from PDF (p 8) at https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/committee-finds-no-evidence-to-support-allegations-against-planned

In a briefing with Committee staff, Dr. Ben Van Handel, the Executive Director of Novogenix Laboratories, confirmed that at the affiliate where Novogenix has a contract, Planned Parenthood set the price of $45 for services rendered on a per specimen basis.38

...from PDF (p 9) at https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/committee-finds-no-evidence-to-support-allegations-against-planned

Similarly, in a briefing with Committee staff, Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) confirmed that the reimbursement rate at the Planned Parenthood affiliate with which they partner is $60 per patient product of conception.40

...from PDF (p 9) at https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/committee-finds-no-evidence-to-support-allegations-against-planned

To date, the Committee has not obtained any evidence that Planned Parenthood physicians altered the timing, method, or procedure of an abortion solely for the purpose of obtaining fetal tissue for research.

...from PDF (p 10) at https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/committee-finds-no-evidence-to-support-allegations-against-planned

Dr. Nucatola confirmed that changing the position of the fetus is not a change in the method or procedure; instead, it often needs to be done for patient safety.

Although she does not personally change the position of the fetus in her practice, she believes that some physicians may need to convert the fetus to breech position in order to perform the abortion procedure safely; it is a matter of skill and experience.55

...from PDF (p 11) at https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/committee-finds-no-evidence-to-support-allegations-against-planned

Republican investigation:

(PDF) at https://republicans-energycommerce.house.gov/news/press-release/select-investigative-panel-releases-final-report/

The PDF above is 471 pages. I just read the table of contents. It looks like it asks some good questions. But I couldn't find any analysis from reliable media sources.

During an appearance tonight on CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform who is currently leading the investigation of Planned Parenthood, admitted that he has identified no evidence that Planned Parenthood has violated any laws:

Blitzer: "Is there any evidence in your opinion that Planned Parenthood has broken any law?"

Chaffetz: "No, I'm not suggesting that they broke the law."

...from https://oversight.house.gov/news/press-releases/breaking-oversight-committee-chairman-admits-on-national-television-he-has-no#block-system-main


Do the Planned Parenthood employees' statements in the CMP videos represent standard practice at Planned Parenthood?

At several of our health centers, we help patients who want to donate tissue for scientific research, and we do this just like every other high-quality health care provider does -- with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards. There is no financial benefit for tissue donation for either the patient or for Planned Parenthood. In some instances, actual costs, such as the cost to transport tissue to leading research centers, are reimbursed, which is standard across the medical field.

...from https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/statement-from-planned-parenthood-on-new-undercover-video#site-main

NATIONAL ABORTION FEDERATION GUIDELINES RELATING TO FETAL TISSUE DONATION

All NAF members must adhere to the applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations governing fetal tissue donation. As stated in the Clinical Policy Guidelines: "All surgically removed tissue must be considered biohazardous and be handled, stored, and disposed of in a manner that minimizes the risk of exposure. A protocol for tissue handling, storage, and disposal must be in place." (Clinical Policy Guidelines 2015, Infection Prevention and Control, Standard 3.8, p. 5).

Consistent with federal law:

I. Informed consent for fetal tissue donation may not be obtained until after a patient has given full informed consent for the abortion.

II. A woman's decision to donate fetal tissue must be voluntary and uncoerced. Providers must not offer any financial or other incentives to the patient.

III. Clinics and providers cannot financially gain from their participation in fetal tissue donation. Remuneration is limited to "reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of fetal tissue" (NIH Revitalization Act of 1993).

IV. Providers cannot change abortion procedures specifically to accommodate fetal tissue collection needs.

...from PDF at https://prochoice.org/naf-supports-fetal-tissue-donation-for-humanitarian-and-medical-research/

Current PPFA guidance on fetal tissue donation tracks federal law, and it clearly and explicitly prohibits affiliates from receiving valuable consideration for fetal tissue. The guidance also requires affiliates to ensure that reimbursement represents actual costs incurred by the affiliate. The current PPFA guidance, revised in May 2015, provides as follows:

Federal law prohibits the payment or receipt of money or any other form of valuable consideration for fetal tissue, regardless of whether the program to which the tissue is being provided is federally funded or not.

There are limited exceptions that allow reimbursement for actual expenses (e.g. storage, processing, transportation, etc.) of the tissue. If an affiliate chooses to accept reimbursement for allowable expenses, it must be able to demonstrate the reimbursement represents its actual costs. PPFA recommends that an affiliate consult with CAPS [Consortium of Abortion Providers] about steps to take to document and demonstrate actual cost. [emphasis in the original]5

...from PDF (p 2) at https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/committee-finds-no-evidence-to-support-allegations-against-planned

The 2015 PPFA guidance provides:

Federal law establishes additional requirements applicable whenever the research involving fetal tissue is conducted or supported by the federal government. PPFA recommends that these requirements be adhered to without regard to whether the tissue donation program is federally supported or not. These requirements are:

1. That the client's consent to donate not be sought until after she has decided to have an abortion and has signed the consent form for the abortion.

2. That the client acknowledge that the blood or tissue is being donated as a gift and that she will not be paid.

3. That the client acknowledge that she has not been told and that she has no control over who will get the donated blood and/or tissue or what it will be used for.

4. That there will be no changes to how or when the abortion is done in order to obtain the blood or tissue.23

The guidance further instructs affiliates that "It must be documented that no substantive alteration in the timing of terminating the pregnancy or of the method used was made for the purpose of obtaining the blood and/or tissue."24

...from PDF (pp 5-6) at https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/committee-finds-no-evidence-to-support-allegations-against-planned


Illegal activity:


Is anyone profiting from fetal tissue sales?

[I]t's the "buyer" who is doing all the talking. The "buyer" states: "It's gold out there", "So beneficial", "change the procedure a bit", "financial gain", "I want you to be paid", "compensates", "financially helping you", "financial benefits", "grow the clinic", these are all leading statements voiced by the "buyer". But Farrell simply agreeing to these statements is enough to paint her in a bad light.

...from PDF (p 9) at http://ppfa.pr-optout.com/ViewAttachment.aspx?EID=mr9WXYw4u2IxYnni1dBRVk3HDyuhhkPMnFMCvK5fVC8%3d

Planned Parenthood stopped accepting reimbursement:

US law says that clinics can recover "reasonable payments" to offset the costs of providing the tissue, but it makes it a felony to profit from doing so. Planned Parenthood officials say that its clinics obtain full and informed consent from women choosing to donate fetal remains for research, and the organization announced in October that its clinics will no longer recover costs of $45--60 per specimen for collecting the tissue.

...from https://www.nature.com/news/the-truth-about-fetal-tissue-research-1.18960#mediaplayer-7323231449513755

Just 1% of the approximately 700 health centers that are part of the Planned Parenthood network are equipped for fetal tissue donation. And in another response to the disinformation campaign and to try to quell some of the controversy, Planned Parenthood announced in October 2015 that its clinics will no longer seek reimbursement for their costs related to fetal tissue donation, even though the practice is perfectly legal and commonplace.

...from https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2016/fetal-tissue-research-weapon-and-casualty-war-against-abortion#article-body

Thirty-eight states explicitly permit fetal-tissue donation for research, while six states currently ban such research, including Ohio, which is now also moving to make reimbursement for fetal-tissue samples illegal. In mid-October, Planned Parenthood announced that it would no longer accept reimbursements for its fetal-tissue donations in order to "remove beyond the shadow of a doubt the ludicrous idea that Planned Parenthood has any financial interest in fetal tissue donation."

...from https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/10/planned-parenthood-attack-videos-hurting-fetal-tissue-research/#mj-house-subscription-promo-widget-2

Middlemen:

Researchers most often acquire fetal tissue from a tissue bank or, sometimes, directly from a hospital or abortion clinic.4

...from https://www.guttmacher.org/gpr/2016/fetal-tissue-research-weapon-and-casualty-war-against-abortion#article-body

Back at the company, lab technicians process the tissue to try to isolate the specific cell type a researcher has ordered -- for instance, fetal liver stem cells.

"These cells are hard to isolate," Ms. Dyer said. "These are hard processes, expensive processes that take millions of dollars of equipment. Just to attempt to do some of these isolations can cost us thousands of dollars, and it may not even work."

The effort is reflected in the pricing: a vial containing five million frozen fetal liver CD133+ stem cells can cost more than $24,000.

...from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/28/health/fetal-tissue-from-abortions-for-research-is-traded-in-a-gray-zone.html#link-7f5a5e51

As the New York Times reported back in July 2015, researchers who use fetal tissue in their work can acquire it in several ways. The paper indicated that some scientists, who are typically affiliated with universities, can acquire fetal tissue from reproductive health clinics at their organization or from university tissue banks.

The Times added that researchers can also purchase fetal tissue from companies that serve as an intermediary between reproductive health clinics and research institutions. These companies process fetal tissue and can charge researchers related processing fees, but they are not legally allowed to make a profit from the transaction, the paper noted.

...from https://www.bustle.com/p/12-facts-about-fetal-tissue-research-to-help-you-understand-why-ending-it-is-a-big-deal-17952285#

The companies that process the tissue then sell it to researchers for higher prices, sometimes charging up to thousands of dollars for a vial. But even this is not illegal. The founder of one major fetal tissue supplier told the Times that the increased prices reflect the high costs associated with extracting cells or tissue, storing them, and shipping them. StemExpress founder Cate Dyer said that isolating certain fetal cells can "take millions of dollars of equipment" and can cost "thousands of dollars" without a guarantee that it will work. However, the Times also notes that the suppliers "exist in a gray zone, legally," as "[f]ederal law says they cannot profit from the tissue itself, but the law does not specify how much they can charge for processing and shipping."

...from https://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/news/a56200/fetal-tissue-research-donation/#piano-content-container

4. There are no regulations for what brokers charge researchers, either.

While abortion clinics or hospitals sometimes provide tissue directly to researchers, organizations or private companies like the tissue brokers mentioned above often act as middlemen. Profiteering may be occurring on this level, Caplan said.

Caplan said brokers can resell tissue to researchers at what seem like fairly high markups, but "regulations don't exist on fees, so what they charge is set by market."

California-based StemExpress is one such broker and is cited in one of the Center for Medical Progress videos as contracting with Planned Parenthood for fetal tissue. The company charges fees for many kinds of human cells, from $100 for a vial of peripheral blood to $24,000 for a vial of highly concentrated fetal liver cells. The company reported $2.2 million in revenue in 2013, according to a profile in Inc. Magazine.

Prue Talbot, the director of the Stem Cell Center at the University of California, Riverside, agreed with a StemExpress statement that said research methods and expensive medical equipment are expensive. Talbot said skilled technicians that can isolate and preserve specific kinds of cells also command high salaries, driving up costs.

...from https://www.politifact.com/article/2015/aug/05/8-things-know-about-planned-parenthood-controversy/#adbridg_ad_mobileinterstitial_1

Sales figures:

The direct acquisition fees for human fetal tissue were low. In fiscal year 1999, 49 percent of the respondents to our survey did not pay any acquisition fees for the human fetal tissue they received. Among those who paid acquisition fees in fiscal year 1999, investigators reported an average fee of $80 per human fetal tissue sample, with a minimum fee of $2 and a maximum fee of $214. In addition, tissue acquisition fees varied substantially among the different sources identified in our survey. Only one of the researchers who received human fetal tissue from academic medical centers paid an acquisition fee ($12). More than four-fifths of the researchers who received tissue from health clinics paid no fee. The fees per sample of human fetal tissue from health clinics ranged from $2 to $75, with an average of $22. In contrast, 78 percent of the researchers receiving human fetal tissue from a central tissue supplier paid an acquisition fee---those fees ranged from $5 to $214 per sample, with investigators paying an average fee of $96.9

Second, some of the principal investigators who completed our survey had additional expenses for transporting, processing, preserving, storing, and ensuring the quality of human fetal tissue specimens, even if they paid nothing to acquire the tissue. For all of the principal investigators who responded to our survey, total expenditures for acquiring human fetal tissue in fiscal year 1999 totaled approximately $359,000, including both tissue acquisition fees and these other expenses (see table 2).

...from PDF (pp 5-6) at https://www.gao.gov/products/164170

Two bioscience companies have reached a $7.785-million settlement with the Orange County district attorney's office over allegations that they illegally sold fetal tissue to companies around the world, prosecutors said Friday.

According to the settlement signed Monday, DV Biologics LLC and sister company DaVinci Biosciences LLC, both based in Yorba Linda, must cease all operations in California within 60 to 120 days. The agreement also requires the companies to admit liability for violations of state and federal laws prohibiting the sale or purchase of fetal tissue for research purposes, prosecutors said.

...from https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-fetal-tissue-20171209-story.html#

Many researchers buy tissue from two small California companies. StemExpress, a five-year-old business based in Placerville, Calif., describes itself as "the largest provider of maternal blood and fetal tissue globally." It also says it offers "special discounts to the academic community."

Its founder, Cate Dyer, has a bachelor's degree in sociology from California State University in Sacramento. She started StemExpress with $9,000. An article last November in Sacramento Business Journal said that the company had grown more than 1,300 percent in three years. Its revenue was $2.2 million, according to a report in August 2014 in Inc. magazine.

Ms. Dyer said that fetal tissue accounted for about 10 percent of the company's business.

...from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/28/health/fetal-tissue-from-abortions-for-research-is-traded-in-a-gray-zone.html#link-7f5a5e51

Six years after deriving his famous strain, Hayflick made off with stocks of the cells and later started to charge for shipping them, prompting an epic legal battle with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, about who owned the cells. That struggle nearly destroyed Hayflick's career and raised questions about whether and how scientists should profit from their inventions.

What's more, the WI-38 strain has helped to generate billions of dollars for companies that produce vaccines based on the cells, yet it seems that the parents of the fetus have earned nothing. That recalls the earlier development of the HeLa cell line, named after the woman whose tumour gave rise to the cells and chronicled in Rebecca Skloot's book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Crown, 2010). As with HeLa, the WI-38 case highlights questions about if, and how, tissue donors should be compensated that are still urgently debated today. Last month, for example, some scientists in the United States found themselves barred from using new stem-cell lines derived from human embryos because women had been paid for the eggs used to make them (see Nature http://doi.org/mv2; 2013).

...from https://www.nature.com/news/medical-research-cell-division-1.13273?src=longreads#mediaplayer-7112371372241474

The conversation, which Dyer says lasted about two hours, was edited down to less than 10 minutes. Any talk of money, she said, was taken out of context in the editing. She says that her business grew quickly because of the research community's high demand for adult tissue and blood, and that's what she was referring to when profit was discussed.

The company's records indicate that roughly 1 percent of the tissue StemExpress collects is fetal. StemExpress typically gave Planned Parenthood $55 per sample, paying mostly for use of its rooms, storage and staffers.

Last year, a StemExpress catalog advertised a vial of two million "fresh" stem cells from a fetal liver for $1,932, and $1,840 for the same amount "cryopreserved," or frozen. Company records show they charge researchers a flat fee of $595 for each sample of fetal tissue, which costs an average $732 to prepare. In addition to compensating staffers who collect the tissue, the company pays for mileage, shipping, packaging, lab equipment, screening the sample for diseases and general upkeep.

In 2015, revenue from the transfer of fetal tissue to researchers totaled roughly $26,000. The cost of preparing the tissue, the company said, was about $33,000 -- resulting in a $7,000 financial loss.

...from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/05/27/critics-say-theyre-selling-baby-body-parts-they-say-theyre-saving-lives/#main-content


Do researchers request specific organs?

StemExpress uses procurement technicians to obtain fetal tissue. "We're collecting biohazardous waste, discarded waste," Ms. Dyer said. "They go to a hospital or to a facility that does terminations and collect tissues from those waste products."

Back at the company, lab technicians process the tissue to try to isolate the specific cell type a researcher has ordered -- for instance, fetal liver stem cells.

...from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/28/health/fetal-tissue-from-abortions-for-research-is-traded-in-a-gray-zone.html#link-7f5a5e51


Do abortion clinics follow current legislation?

Planned Parenthood also insists it is careful about which companies it works with. The organization has pointed out that the Center for Medical Progress pretended to be a tissue-procurement company in the videos, but that Planned Parenthood refused to work with the supposed company in part because the questions raised by the people posing as its representatives involved things that are illegal.

...from https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/09/04/beyond-abortion-and-planned-parenthood-regulating-fetal-tissue#ac-lre-player

PPFA oversees its affiliates through an accreditation process, whereby each affiliate is reviewed at least once every three years. Affiliates are evaluated on a range of hundreds of possible elements of performance, including, as of 2013, compliance with PPFA's fetal tissue donation guidance. Accreditation involves both offsite reviews of affiliate documentation as well as onsite reviews that include interviews with staff and direct observation of patient care.8

Non-compliance with PPFA required standards may affect an affiliate's accreditation status and result in actions that jeopardize that affiliate's ability to continue to use the Planned Parenthood trademark.9

...from PDF (p 3) at https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/committee-finds-no-evidence-to-support-allegations-against-planned


Is "partial-birth" abortion occurring?

Origin of the D&X procedure:

If this procedure is so controversial, then why was it developed in the first place?

The further along a pregnancy is, the more complicated -- and the more controversial -- the procedures are for aborting it. Abortions performed after the 20th week of pregnancy typically require that the fetus be dismembered inside the womb so it can be removed without damaging the pregnant woman's cervix. Some gynecologists consider such methods, known as "dilation and evacuation," less than ideal because they can involve substantial blood loss and may increase the risk of lacerating the cervix, potentially undermining the woman's ability to bear children in the future.

Two abortion physicians, one in Ohio and one in California, independently developed variations on the method by extracting the fetus intact. The Ohio physician, Martin Haskell, called his method "dilation and extraction," or D&X. It involved dilating the woman's cervix, then pulling the fetus through it feet first until only the head remained inside. Using scissors or another sharp instrument, the head was then punctured, and the skull compressed, so it, too, could fit through the dilated cervix.

Haskell has said that he devised his D&X procedure because he wanted to find a way to perform second-trimester abortions without an overnight hospital stay, because local hospitals did not permit most abortions after 18 weeks.

...from https://www.npr.org/2006/02/21/5168163/partial-birth-abortion-separating-fact-from-spin#ad-secondary-News_National_Law

Incidence:

The Guttmacher Institute estimated there were 2,200 intact dilation and extraction procedures in the US during 2000; this accounts for <0.2% of the total number of abortions performed that year.[155]

...from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion#cite_ref-guttmacher_155-0

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, an abortion-rights research group that conducts surveys of the nation's abortion doctors, about 15,000 abortions were performed in the year 2000 on women 20 weeks or more along in their pregnancies; the vast majority were between the 20th and 24th week. Of those, only about 2,200 D&X abortions were performed, or about 0.2 percent of the 1.3 million abortions believed to be performed that year.

...from https://www.npr.org/2006/02/21/5168163/partial-birth-abortion-separating-fact-from-spin#ad-secondary-News_National_Law

It is also known as intact dilation and evacuation (D&E) and, in United States federal law, as partial-birth abortion. Partial-birth abortion is not an accepted medical term and is not used by abortion practitioners or the medical community at large.[1][2]

In 2000, although only 0.17% (2,232 of 1,313,000) of all abortions in the United States were performed using this procedure,[3] it developed into a focal point of the abortion debate. Intact D&E of a fetus with a heartbeat was outlawed in most cases by the 2003 federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart.[1][4]

...from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intact_dilation_and_extraction#mw-content-text

The table below summarizes the available data at the state and national level on the number of partial-birth abortions or dilation and extraction abortions (note that this data is very incomplete):

yearknown procedures by stateknown procedures,
United States
various estimates,
total procedures,
United States
AL CA FL ID KS MN NE NJ NY OH PA VA TX
through 1992 2        700     702 
1993     1          1 
1994     6          6 
1995     2         2 4 
1996     3    1,500 ~139    1,642650
1997     4     ~17     2013,000-5,000
1998     1 58    ~17     76 
1999     1 182    ~17 328    528 
2000     3   2  ~17    1,2742,200
2001     1  1 1  ~17 266    742 
2002     1   1  ~17 278    297 
2003     3   2  ~9 381    395 
2004     1  2 1   309    3132,400-5,000
2005     3      255    258 
total to 2005 2 2,100 ~4 30 240 3 7 1,500 250 2,517 1 ~60 28,542 

About 8,500 partial-birth abortions in the U.S. up to 2005 can be documented; the actual number is significantly higher. Reasonable estimates of the annual number of PBAs in the U.S. range from 2,200 to 5,000, with somewhat higher numbers possible. This would imply 22,000 to 50,000 PBAs performed in the last decade.

...from http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/pba.html#

To date, the Committee has received no evidence that any physician employed by Planned Parenthood affiliates has performed an "intact" dilation and evacuation (D&E) to preserve fetal tissue for research.

...from PDF (p 9) at https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/committee-finds-no-evidence-to-support-allegations-against-planned

Similarly, Dr. Nucatola explained that it would be rare for a patient to be sufficiently dilated to deliver an intact fetus.45 When questioned whether it was possible to do a D&E resulting in an intact fetus, she stated that while possible, no Planned Parenthood physician would intentionally perform such a procedure because to do so would be illegal.46

Representatives of all three TPOs [tissue procurement organizations] also stated to the Committee that the donated fetal tissue specimens they receive do not include intact fetuses.47

...from PDF (p 10) at https://energycommerce.house.gov/newsroom/press-releases/committee-finds-no-evidence-to-support-allegations-against-planned

Politics:

The decision of anti-abortion groups to focus on partial birth abortion reform was tactical. The concept of partial birth abortion and the language with which it was discussed were political constructs used to draw attention to, and stimulate discussion about, the notion of abortion more generally.

...from https://www.jstor.org/stable/41054184?seq=1

(At the link above, this quote is visible on the preview of page 15.)

References to "intactness" contained in the undercover videos refer to "the intactness of the tissue and specific organs," not the intactness of the fetus. Any suggested reference to an intact fetus is "the result of deceptive editing" by the Center for Medical Progress.[27 [sic]

...from https://oversight.house.gov/planned-parenthood-fact-v-fiction#_ftnref26

Born alive:

The CDC examined infant death certificates between 2003 and 2014 and identified 143 cases where the infant was born alive during an attempt to terminate the pregnancy. To put that in perspective: there were more than 9.3 million abortion procedures performed in the United States during that same 12-year period, PolitiFact Texas reported.

...from https://www.politifact.com/article/2019/may/30/reports-born-alive-abortion-scenario-are-rare/#

What about abortions that result in a live birth? One CDC report on death certificates for infants for 2003 to 2014, showed "143 deaths involving induced terminations" of pregnancies during that 12-year period, 97 of which "involved a maternal complication or, one or more congenital anomalies." The data "only include deaths occurring to those infants born alive; fetal deaths (stillbirths) are not included."

...from https://www.factcheck.org/2019/03/the-facts-on-the-born-alive-debate/#dpsp-post-content-markup

Infant deaths for the 12 year period 2003 -- 2014 assigned to code ICD-10 code P96.4 -- Termination of pregnancy, affecting fetus and newborn were reviewed. During this period there were 315,392 infant deaths and 49,126,572 live births. The purpose of this analysis is to provide some additional information regarding infant deaths with this cause of death code. This category includes both spontaneous terminations of pregnancy and induced terminations of pregnancy. Analysis of the text as reported by the cause-of-death certifier show that of 588 deaths with mention of P96.4, 143 (24.3%) could definitively be classified as involving an induced termination. A list of the terms on which this number is based is shown below. Most of the remaining deaths are clearly spontaneous. However, it is possible that this number (143) underestimates the total number of deaths involving induced termination.

...from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/health_policy/mortality-records-mentioning-termination-of-pregnancy.htm#sectionNavButton

Late-term abortions:

According to the CDC's Abortion Surveillance Data, the vast majority of abortions (91%) occur at or before 13 weeks gestation, while 7.7% occur from weeks 14 to 20 gestation, and just 1.2% of abortions are performed at or after 21 weeks (Figure 1).

...from https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/fact-sheet/abortions-later-in-pregnancy/#report-wrapper

Abortions occurring at or after 21 weeks gestational age are rare. They are often difficult to obtain, as they are typically costly, time-intensive and only performed by a small subset of abortion providers. Yet these abortions receive a disproportionate amount of attention in the news, policy and the law, and discussions on this topic are often fraught with misinformation; for example, intense public discussions have been sparked after several policymakers have theorized about abortions occurring "moments before birth" or even "after birth." In reality, these scenarios do not occur, nor are they legal, in the U.S. Discussion of this topic is further obscured due to the terms sometimes used to describe abortions later in pregnancy-- including "late-term," "post-viability," "partial birth," "dismemberment" and "born-alive" abortions--despite many medical professionals criticizing and opposing their use. This fact sheet explains why individuals may seek abortions later in pregnancy, how often these procedures occur, how the concepts of viability and fetal pain play into this topic, and the various laws which regulate access to abortions later in pregnancy.

...from https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/fact-sheet/abortions-later-in-pregnancy/#report-wrapper

Potential for survival of babies aborted in late-term abortions

The attention on late-term abortions stems in part from the fact that babies born alive at these stages of pregnancy have significant chances of survival. Rysavy et al. (2015) reported (for hospitals in their survey) overall infant survival rates of 5.1% at 22 weeks' gestation, 23.6% at 23 weeks, 54.9% at 24 weeks, 72.0% at 25 weeks, and 81.4% at 26 weeks.

Assume that babies aborted in late-term abortions were instead delivered at the gestational ages of their abortions, with survival probabilities as reported by Rysavy et al. (2015), except with 10-50% having fetal health issues making survival unlikely. The resulting estimates of babies that could have survived for selected years are:

• 2008: 2,100 (1,200 to 3,200)
• 2015: 1,500 (900 to 2,300)
• 2018: 1,400 (800 to 2,100)
• total, 2005-2018: 25,000 (14,000 to 39,000)

Due to the current prevailing abortion-favoring interpretation of U.S. law, a child is not afforded constitutional protection of the right to life until delivered from the womb. However, even this is not secure given that abortion proponents actively oppose legislation that would protect babies born alive after abortions. There are significant numbers of cases where babies have survived abortions. Melissa Ohden is one such survivor (Ohden, 2017) and has founded the Abortion Survivors Network which reports knowing of 260 survivors (Abortion Survivors Network, 2019). The efforts to oppose life-saving care in such cases demonstrate the degree to which a pro-abortion mentality has warped both the legal and medical professions.

...from http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/late_term_abortion_usa.html#


Are organs harvested from live babies?

(YouTube) CMP sting video alleging harvesting organs from a live baby

(video) Holly O'Donnell was coached during the interview.

Unreleased footage filed in a civil court case shows that O'Donnell's apparently spontaneous reflections were carefully rehearsed. David Daleiden, the anti-abortion activist who made the videos, is heard coaching O'Donnell through repeated takes, instructing her to repeat anecdotes, add details, speak "fluidly" and be "very natural."

"Let's try it two more times," he told her at one point.

Later, O'Donnell protested: "I don't want to tell that story again. Please don't make me again, David."

...from https://graphics.latimes.com/planned-parenthood-videos/#topper-video

A portion edited out of the video stated that the fetus was dead at the time the organ was removed.

...from https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/pp-abortion-harvest-brain/#smg-zone-single-feature

To dramatize O'Donnell's interview, the video cuts to a fetus outside the womb, placed on what appears to be some sort of examination surface, and the fetus' legs are moving. The Center for Medical Progress says the source of the footage is the Grantham Collection, an organization that hopes to stem abortion by promoting graphic images of the procedure. We don't know the circumstances behind this video: where it came from, under what conditions it was obtained, or even if this fetus was actually aborted (as opposed to a premature birth or miscarriage).

...from https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2015/sep/17/carly-fiorina/cnn-debate-carly-fiorina-urges-others-watch-planne/#

No video released by the Center for Medical Progress showed the image Fiorina described, but one of the CMP videos does include a brief edited clip from the video Cunningham released on Tuesday, showing a fetus on a stainless steel background with its leg moving.

David Daleiden, who created the Center for Medical Progress videos, edited in the Cunningham footage to illustrate a story that he had been told on camera of a medical technician witnessing an abortion that resulted in an extracted fetus with moving legs and beating heart.

...from https://time.com/4053578/abortion-carly-fiorina-planned-parenthood/#article-body




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