Speaking at a hearing investigating the procurement of fetal tissue from aborted babies, Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., asked a panel of experts Wednesday: “Have we reached a point in our society where there effectively is an Amazon.com for human parts, including human babies?”
While asking the question, Black showed those testifying an email from a medical researcher from a “leading university” requesting “a first trimester human embryo, preferably around 8 weeks, and up to 10 weeks gestation. We have ordered tissue from [redacted] before, so our information should be on file. Please let me know if this tissue is available.”
Dr. Gerard Kevin Donovan, senior clinical scholar at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University—who is against abortion and the procurement of baby body parts from aborted fetuses—responded:
“We have commoditized what have been referred to as the products of conception, meaning babies and baby parts. Yes, they are for sale, supposedly just to cover one’s costs. But those costs seem to be quite variable.”
Paige Comstock Cunningham, executive director for Trinity International University Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, who also takes a pro-life stance on the procurement of tissue from aborted babies, told the committee that her concern with harvesting tissue from aborted babies is not that the practice “somehow” increases abortions.
“My concern,” Cunningham said, “is that researchers have come to count on induced abortion for their research…what have we come to where researchers need induced abortion for their research?”
Black, a former emergency room nurse, was speaking before the House Energy and Commerce Committee Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives on Wednesday. The mission of the committee is to “gather information and get the facts about the medical practices of abortion service providers and the business practices of procurement organization who sell baby body parts.”