A fetal tissue researcher's story | Arkansas Blog

Friday, August 7, 2015

A fetal tissue researcher's story

Posted By on Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 10:38 AM

Fetal tissue research may be the legal, lifesaving and important scientific work that finally deals the crippling blow opponents have long wanted to land on Planned Parenthood. (Not just because of abortion, though that's the leading concern of most critics. Contraception and sex education also spur many opponents.)

So here's a thoughtful article from Vox by a molecular biologist who spent 10 years doing research that relied on fetal material (and experienced a bomb threat from "pro-lifers" as a consequence).

It's not an easy subject. And it's one on which opponents focus selectively. Should use of fetal remains be prohibited only when products of induced abortion? Or in all other circumstances? If use of fetal organs are impermissible, why is use of organs from older people permissible? What about fertility programs and handling of frozen embryos? And, as this writer illustrates, what about stem cell research? It's emotionally fraught work at every level. But the entire span of it should be considered, not just a narrow segment presented for maximum dramatic effect. This researcher, though wracked by second thoughts, would do it again. Read about what his work contributed to treatments for advanced breast cancer.

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