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The NIH Removing Restrictions On Fetal Tissue Research Could Seriously Harm Women

Updated: May 15, 2021

The National Institutes of Health just removed restrictions formerly imposed on research using fetal tissue, allowing university researchers and government scientists to use the bodies of babies after elective abortions for their medical research. This decision raises valid concerns about the emotional welfare of women, ethical conflicts leading to coerced abortions, and providers possibly prioritizing research over patient well-being.

“Fetal tissue research is a detriment to women’s health,” said Jamie Jeffries, Executive Director of Abortion on Trial. “We have direct evidence that women were not given proper informed consent in the alleged donation of fetal tissue and, worse than that, we have indirect evidence the abortion industry was coercing women in order to obtain fetal tissue being requested by university researchers.”

Jeffries went on further to say, “When the University Of New Mexico gave proper informed consent to women, we saw these alleged fetal tissue donations drop to almost zero."

Fetal tissue researchers need to recognize full bodily autonomy with complete informed consent free of coercion.

As previously reported by AOT, fetal tissue research is putting abortion providers in an ethical dilemma. Do they put the patients' needs first, or do they prioritize the needs of the fetal tissue research network? As was documented, UNM researchers put undue and nearly ghoulish pressure on abortion providers to harvest body parts for their research.

These ethical dilemmas lead to cases like that of Nicole Atkins and Jessica Duran, who have both been deeply harmed by the coercion and failure to gain consent that happens when abortionists are looking to harvest baby body parts.

Under the well-settled case law of Moore vs. Regents of California, “These principles lead to the following conclusions: (1) an Abortionist must disclose personal interests unrelated to the patient's health, whether research or economic, that may affect the abortionist’s professional judgment; and (2) an abortionist’s failure to disclose such interests may give rise to a cause of action for performing medical procedures without informed consent or breach of fiduciary duty.”

The provider who sold body parts for money should have disclosed they were receiving remuneration from Planned Parenthood under the principles of Moore vs. Regents of California. Their failure to do so constituted a failure to give informed consent and a breach of fiduciary duty to their patients. Every abortionist who does this in the future should be disciplined by their local Medical Board.

Knowing such, Abortion On Trial will pursue legal action against any abortion provider who fails to disclose intent and gain consent for fetal tissue taken for research.

“The reality is, women just don’t want or need the added pressure of donating fetal tissue on top of the existing pressures regarding abortion. We won’t silently sit by and watch women’s basic right to informed consent being ignored,” says Jeffries. “Women deserve to know what happens in order to obtain fetal tissue, and abortion providers need to respect when a woman doesn’t want to participate as the temporary incubator for their research."

READ: Abortionist fails to get consent for fetal tissue donation.

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