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Fetal Tissue Research to Be Investigated
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fetal tissue research

Summary: An official investigation into fetal tissue research has been requested by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

On the heels of the controversial Planned Parenthood video evidence that has surfaced over the past year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) inspector general has called for an investigation into the how fetal tissue research is conducted and overseen. Fetal tissue research currently is largely supported by HHS grant money through the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


The investigation is looking to examine how and if government health officials and researchers are following existing laws or if new regulations are needed. Fetal tissue in scientific and medical research has become a closely monitored practice since the Planned Parenthood videos showing how the “baby parts” are handled and sold.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has petitioned for Planned Parenthood to be defunded with 34 signatures from other GOP senators. In a statement Paul said, “I am encouraged to see the inspector general take action to investigate Planned Parenthood’s unconscionable practices. Planned Parenthood selling body parts of the unborn demonstrates that the organization deserves not one penny more of our taxpayer dollars, and I am confident this investigation will give further proof of that.”

The guidelines set for the use of fetal tissue were set in 1993. Medical research with fetal tissue only represents around $280 million worth of NIH projects in the past four years compared to the $580 million used for embryonic cell research. Fetal tissue research is used irregularly now since the advancement of other technologies like embryonic cell research.

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