On Monday, 85 members of Congress sent a signed letter to Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expressing their concern that the government agency awarded a $15,900 contract to Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR), a San Francisco human tissue procurement firm, to provide fresh human fetal tissue to be transplanted into mice in order to create human-like immune systems.
The contract runs from July 15, 2018 to July 14, 2019, according to Life Site News.
The letter cites federal law that prohibits the buying and selling of human fetal tissue. It also states that ABR's tissue procurement activities have been both unethical and potentially illegal.
This is one of eight contracts the FDA has signed with ABR since 2012, according to the U.S. General Services Administration.
"I am alarmed by the FDA's actions. ABR has a checkered history of purchasing the remains of aborted children and reselling the babies. I know this first-hand as I participated in the House's investigation and criminal referral of this company two years ago. I find it deeply disturbing that the federal government continues to contract with companies that facilitate the trafficking of human fetal remains. This practice must stop," US Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) said in a press release.
"While our letter calls on the FDA to cancel its contract with ABR, I would go the next step and call on all federal agencies including the National Institute of Health (NIH) to cease and desist in furthering the abhorrent and highly unethical practice of using aborted babies as research specimens. This is a grisly, disturbing, and unnecessary business," she added.
According to a press release, ABR admitted to Congress that it paid $60 for aborted babies but sold their body parts at $325 per "specimen," during the 2016 investigations conducted by the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and the Senate Judiciary Committee. The company has been referred to the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the District Attorney of Riverside County, California for further investigation.
"The Food and Drug Administration is using taxpayer dollars to fund a barbaric research method that treats babies like research guinea pigs. Scientists have ethical alternatives for conducting medical research," US Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) said in a press release. "They can and do use mice with human-like immune systems developed from bone marrow and umbilical cord blood – sources that are not obtained through the destruction of unborn children. The FDA should cancel this gruesome contract immediately."
The letter to Gottlieb urges the FDA to cancel ABR's contract and to conduct its research using ethical techniques rather than participating in the trafficking of baby body parts.
"Conservatives stand united against the sale of fetal parts and the industry that profits from this illegal and unethical practice. After more than a year since the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives announced their explosive findings, companies like ABR have suffered no consequences. Considering President Trump's pro-life promises, the FDA should immediately cease all government business with ABR and no longer use any aborted fetal cells for future research," US Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) said in a press release.
Read the letter to the FDA from 85 members of Congress.