May 24, 2024

University of Pittsburgh in hot water over foetal tissue research

The use of foetal tissue at the University of Pittsburgh is becoming a hot political issue. Several Republicans are calling for an investigation into the use of foetal organs.

Based on documents published by UPitt researchers, anti-abortion activists have claimed that organs are being removed from still-living foetuses in programs using federal funding. But UPitt vehemently denies the allegations.

Rep. Kelly said in a statement to Fox News: “Any American whose moral compass points true north should be outraged that the organs of alive, unborn children

may have been harvested for medical research at the University of Pittsburgh, and that taxpayers were unwittingly forced to pay for it by Washington bureaucrats.”

UPitt spokesman Kevin Zwick responded: “These are irresponsible and false accusations about vital, life-saving research using techniques that are common at universities and medical institutions throughout the world. The University of Pittsburgh does not perform abortions and complies with all laws and regulations concerning this tightly regulated research.”

Pitt has since circulated a list of assertions, such as that “[t]here is no heartbeat and no blood flow at the time the tissue sample is collected.”

They also acknowledge that “to remove organs from a fetus or baby while its heart was still beating would be immoral and unethical and a felony offense, illegal under both state and federal law.”

The rhetoric around the claims is volcanic – that is, heated and full of blinding dust. Very little detail is available on the internet other than allegations and accusations and protestations of innocence.

David Daleiden, of the Center for Medical Progress, says that “Pitt and the Planned Parenthood abortion providers responsible for its ‘research’ abortions are allowing babies, some of the age of viability, to be delivered alive, and then killing them by cutting their kidneys out.”

But his assertions seem to be based on interpretations of the language of grant applications rather than testimonies from researchers or eyewitness accounts.

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge