Bill Banning Aborted Fetal Tissue Research Resurfaces At State Capitol

Bill Would Bar Researchers From Using Tissue Procured During Abortions

Wisconsin State Capitol
Paul Sableman (CC-BY-ND)  

A proposal to ban research using aborted fetal tissue in Wisconsin is being reintroduced at the state Capitol.

Under the bill, researchers would be prohibited from using fetal tissue gathered during abortions.

Sen. Terry Moulton, R-Chippewa Falls, is one of the bill’s sponsors.

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“I’m not opposed to fetal tissue research, but it’s not moral and ethical, I don’t think, to do it on tissue that’s the result of an induced abortion,” Moulton said. “The baby is not a blob, it’s not a mass of tissue … these are deceptive terms to disguise the truth. This is a real human child.”

Moulton said the bill ensures the fetus is treated with “the same equality and respect and dignity that we treat all other human life.”

Opponents to the bill say it would make it harder to conduct research on things like cancer, infectious diseases and developmental disorders.

“The ban would be devastating to the remarkable opportunity we have to develop new, lifesaving vaccines, therapies and cures that will benefit patients across Wisconsin,” said Rod Hise, a spokesman for Cures for Tomorrow, a coalition of medical and research organizations.

Cures for Tomorrow coalition members include the Medical College of Wisconsin, UW Health, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

A companion bill would require health care facilities to inform parents of stillborn or miscarried children about organ and tissue donation.