Activists Demand HHS End Involvement in Late-Term Abortion

Pro-lifers call on agency to drop $13.8 million contract for aborted baby body parts

The US Department of Health and Human Services building / Getty Images

Pro-life activist David Daleiden said the Department of Health and Human Services was promoting late-term abortion by agreeing to a multimillion-dollar contract for mice injected with cells obtained from aborted babies.

On Wednesday evening CNS News revealed the agency had agreed to a $13 million contract with the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) to obtain 90 so-called humanized mice each month. Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress and undercover videographer, said fulfilling the contract would require at least two late-term babies to be aborted each month. The taxpayer-funded enterprise made the agency "complicit" in abortion.

"UCSF is the biggest abortion and late-term abortion training school in the country," Daleiden told an audience at the House of Representatives Rayburn building. "It's absolutely unconscionable that our taxpayer dollars are being used to traffic in aborted baby body parts."

Daleiden called on the agency to terminate the contract, as it did a $15,900 contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources in September following public outcry. He said it was incumbent on the "pro-life Trump administration" to live up to its values.

"The administration could end this tomorrow … but the political will is needed," Daleiden said. "HHS and NIH [National Institutes of Health] are complicit in these abortions."

The agency did not respond to request for comment at deadline.

The University of California defended the research on the San Francisco campus's behalf.  The institution said that the school's access to aborted babies is "vital" to medical research for both adults and children and emphasized that the procurement of the body parts is "in full compliance with federal and state law." The statement pointed to the polio vaccine, which was developed using parts obtained from aborted babies.

"Fetal tissue has been a critical component of biomedical science and breakthroughs that fundamentally changed the practice of medicine," it said in a statement. "Its importance to researchers today has not diminished, and it is still essential to ensuring that cells and tissues created from stem cells are correct."

Daleiden was in the Rayburn Building to participate in a March for Life panel about the 2019 march. Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said this year's march would focus on the link between science and pro-life activism. The panel, which included Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, a Miami radiologist and policy adviser at the Catholic Association, said that scientific consensus firmly established that life begins at conception. The UCSF and HHS researchers, however, had perverted the field of medicine.

"We are always finding new, creative ways to exploit … our littlest ones," Mancini said of harvesting organs to implant into rodents for testing. "We march for the littlest ones whose hearts and livers are harvested."

Daleiden said such contracts actually aid the pro-life cause. He said the abortion industry treats the remains of unborn children as "widgets in an assembly line," but implicit in the name of humanized mice is the acknowledgment that unborn children are human beings, rather than clumps of cells.

The parts "are only useful for people to send and for NIH to experiment on because they are human, just like us," Daleiden said. "That is the paradox … that is clarifying for the abortion debate in this country."

Pozo Christie said advances in imaging technology, especially improvements in magnetic resonance imaging for pregnant women could soon clarify the debate even more. She credits the widespread adoption of sonograms with helping to convince previous generations of the humanity of an unborn child. She expects the MRI, which presents an even clearer picture of the child developing in the womb, to persuade abortion supporters in the future. That is the type of research HHS should be funding, the pro-life activists said.

"Modern science has revealed to us the truth … for us to believe what the pro-abortion movement says requires blindness and deafness," she said. "MRI is going to be the dagger in the heart of the pro-abortion lobby."