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Fetal Tissue Research: An Antiquated Science

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy
The Truth Network Radio
October 15, 2015 12:00 pm

Fetal Tissue Research: An Antiquated Science

Family Policy Matters / NC Family Policy

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October 15, 2015 12:00 pm

This week, NC Family president John Rustin talks with David Prentice, Ph.D., vice president and research director of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, about fetal tissue research, and why he believes it is not only unethical, but also unnecessary.

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This is family policy matter program is produced by the North Carolina family policy Council of profamily research and education organization dedicated to strengthening and preserving the family and up from the studio here is John Rustin, Pres. North Carolina family policy Council, thank you for joining us this week. Profamily policy matters. It is our pleasure to have Dr. David Prentice program.

Dr. Prentiss is VP and research Dir. of the Charlotte luger Institute, which is the research and educational arm of the Susan B. Anthony list. He is also adjunct professor of molecular genetics at the John Paul II Institute at the Catholic University of America and an advisory board member for the Midwest stem cell therapy Center. Dr. Prentiss is with us today to talk about the sale and use of fetal tissue and scientific research, which is a topic that has garnered quite a bit of attention. Recently, thanks to a series of undercover videos released by the Center for medical progress. Now these videos have exposed the practice of abortion giant Planned Parenthood to harvest and sell the tissue and body parts of aborted babies for fetal tissue research elected officials and a number of states have responded by seeking to ban the sale of aborted baby parts, which is a step our own North Carolina lawmakers took recently with the passage of House Bill 297, but in addition to the moral problems related to harvesting and selling baby body parts. There are also scientific problems with the use of fetal tissue and today will be talking with Dr. Prentiss about the history of fetal tissue research and why it is not sound science, Dr. Prentiss, welcome to the program. Thanks so much good to be with you.

Well, it's always a pleasure to have you on family policy matters and we appreciate your Tom now Dr. Prentiss. The term fetal tissue research can be a bit misleading because on the surface it sounds pretty innocuous.

What is fetal tissue research and what is it typically involve and does when somebody uses that term research weeks tend to think of carers that not what's going on with the fetal tissue run and in some cases they are using. In fact, body parts from these aborted babies and how to get them well all right said they're doing abortion they're doing. In some cases a late-term abortion, there's the suggestion that they might even be altering the abortion technique. In some cases to try and get shall we say more intact organs and tissues couple of the videos it was showing to listen to the doctors talk about crushing above and below to try and get certain organs or to use a less crunchy technique, not your skin crawl when you start hearing those terms that what thereafter are organs and tissues, including heart, liver, or even trying. From these unborn children.

Surely this is a little bit about the history of fetal tissue research in the United States. How long has it been utilized in the scientific community is interesting. There's a fairly long history of people attempting to use fetal tissue for experiments.

In fact, that in the US that started back in the 1930 and even before that in a couple of other countries in the 1920s in the UK for example you what they were first attempting to do was to transplant young tissue. In a sense to try to rejuvenate or treat certain conditions, and so someone had diabetes. Someone had Parkinson's disease, they would try to transplant this younger tissue into the patient's body. It really was not very successful and you know they they don't even frankly talk about transplanting fetal tissue anymore because it was so abysmally unsuccessful.

I know the one thing that has come to light in the center for medical progress. Investigation is the exaggerated claims about fetal tissue research that are contained in the consent forms that Planned Parenthood provides to women who are considering abortions. Now these forms. Claimant fetal tissue has been used to treat and actually cure a variety of diseases and conditions. Isn't this information misleading to the women who are receiving these forms from Planned Parenthood. It's terribly misleading and alive. But let's think about what's going on.

You got vulnerable woman coming in whose decided that maybe she should have an abortion. She has already perhaps given consent to go through the procedure and then she's presented with a form that is your same says that fetal tissue from abortion has been used to treat and find a cure for diseases like diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer and AIDS. Well, what she can't think I'm good could come from this. But I am sure your listeners recognize, none of these diseases have been cured and they certainly haven't been cured with fetal tissue so it's it's extremely misleading and probably here's another point where there may be a violation of federal statute to try and mislead and not just true informed consent and one of the other areas of misleading information that has been put forth is that we need to harvest the body parts of aborted babies to use for tissue transplantation. What kind of success.

Have we seen with the use of fetal tissue in this area. I spent pretty meager and almost said sure.

There have been maybe one or two patients who according to some reports have been improved, but most of the transplants affect our own nationalistic health no longer clinical trials doing transplants with fetal tissue and that was after a couple of large steady Don and reported 2001 2003. The results made the New York Times. The doctors themselves were describing patients who they'd attempted to treat for Parkinson's writing wriggling uncontrollably, unable to stop their shaking and the doctors themselves called it horrific Dr. Prince. Proponents of this research also argue that fetal tissue is important for the development of vaccines that we've heard a lot about this talk about a little bit if you would for listeners.

You know it, and here in terms of vaccines is another very misleading piece of information now there is a small raisin in this big pudding is true and that's back in the 1950s and 1960s fetal tissue and fetal cell lines were used initially to grow viruses, including the poliovirus now doesn't mean that the polio vaccine relied on fetal tissue in the point of fact, here is they don't use fetal tissue anymore to make the polio vaccine or most vaccines.

In fact, that there's a report out a couple of months ago successful test of an Ebola vaccine actually field-tested it in Africa. Patients didn't get Ebola after this vaccine. They didn't use any fetal tissue and use monkey cells and there are simply better ways to make vaccines now, none of which rely on fetal tissue will talk about a little bit if you would not only with vaccines but also in other areas of research. I know that you've argued that there are viable and ethical alternatives to research using fetal tissue tell us about those alternatives. There are viable and even better alternatives. Certainly ethical to using fetal tissue or fetal cells and adult stem cells are one of the first things that should come to everybody's mind fetal tissue again in terms of transplants and treatments, and so on pretty much zero in the way of success. Adult stem cells like bone marrow like umbilical cord blood stem cells over one in the quarter million people have been treated with adult stem cells and that's for thousands of different conditions including some of those that were listed on that misleading consent form and that there's a growing number of people and conditions where they are using these successful alternatives, so there are ample alternatives, even in terms of basic research, but you don't need to go down the fetal tissue route. All of these better alternatives exist and why do you believe there is such a demand among some for the tissue and body parts of aborted babies in the scientific community. Why do we see this aborted practice taking place yet. It's really puzzling because what it really looks like.

Is there some scientists who are stuck in an old-fashioned antiquated motive research again back in the 1950s and 1960s.

Fetal tissue is about the only thing that people could grow in the lab and they had these fetal cell lines that have been used in the past to make vaccines panic. There a lot of people still stuck back there in this antiquated science wears the modern progressive science has moved well past that. So I think it's just a matter of coming into the modern world in terms of scientific research. Dr. Prentiss heard recently: NPR program National Public Radio, along with a number of other panelists who are scientists in this area talking about it in the response from the scientists who were supporting fetal tissue research was well there's all this promise, but the evidence just doesn't show that there is the likelihood that were going to see progress made when we have specifically seen progress made in areas of scientific research that use ethical and better methods that you talk about, I found that very enlightening and I think that your presentation of those facts was very helpful to really push on the light of truth on this issue, particularly in that interview, which I'm sure is not always the most friendly and complement for someone that shares our beliefs, but it people to stand up for the truth to stand up for life and get the facts out there and and I would encourage your listeners take a couple of these little kernels of truth and keep passing them on because that's what we need to do me there are people who still don't even realize that Planned Parenthood does abortion and we've got to get the real facts out there that they are doing these up or procedures in being young lives third of a million young lives year and trafficking in these baby parts for research for experiments actually like science for experiments really are not going to benefit anybody especially because we have better, more modern and successful techniques that we should be doing well. I want to go that for listeners, we definitely encourage them to educate themselves to better understand these issues and then share the truth with neighbors, family, friends of elected officials and others who may be making decisions regarding this as the state legislature did just recently in North Carolina in banning the sale of baby body parts not premise before we close. I do ask you one final question and that is do you believe that fetal tissue research should be banned altogether in the United States, or what you think needs to happen at the federal level, as well as on the state level to help put an end to the harvesting and sale of baby body parts. I really do feel that that antiquated and unethical research surety and it relies on the targeted data of young human beings and this just should not happen and even if only for that reason that we shouldn't be promoting a culture of death.

But beyond that it has. We've been discussing there so many other better and noncontroversial ways to move science and medicine for you really ought to be thinking about what is try to be the most successful as well as the most ethical way to bring medicine to patients will no doubt about that now.

Dr. Prentiss working a listeners go to learn more about the Charlotte leisure Institute and your grade research and insight into the fetal tissue research. Our website is and LOC I are INSTITU GE low sure and we have a lot of posts up there not just about all of all science and so on, but just the other little factoids like There are over 13,000 community health centers that do everything and more than Planned Parenthood does. But without doing abortion and you can look on our website and find these maps and find some of these posterior close to your your friends who might need some comprehensive healthcare so I'd encourage your listeners to go to our website leisure and look over this information back in without Dr. David Prentiss. I want to thank you so much for sharing your insights on fetal tissue research with us and for your excellent work in the Charlotte leisure Institute. Thank you so much family policy matters. Information and analysis, future of the North Carolina family policy Council join us weekly for discussion on policy issues affecting the family.

If you have questions or comments, please contact 919-807-0800 or visit our website and see

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