The dean of the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health declared in a state legislative hearing on Tuesday that his school needs women to keep getting abortions in order to provide a steady stream of aborted fetal body parts and tissue for use in scientific and medical experiments. Also on Tuesday, Media Trackers released information showing University of Wisconsin researchers using fetal tissue acquired from a supplier with ties to Planned Parenthood in various experiments and research projects.
At the hearing, state Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R) asked Dr. Robert Golden, MD, “What would happen to your research if women quit having abortions?”
“It would have a substantial negative impact on our capacity to do the life-saving research that we are doing,” Golden answered.
Golden is the dean of the UW’s School of Medicine and Public Health, and was testifying in opposition to proposed legislation that would prohibit researchers and scientists in Wisconsin from using aborted fetal body parts in research. The legislation is a response to videos from the Center for Medical Progress revealing Planned Parenthood trafficking in human fetal body parts that were subsequently used by scientists and researchers for experiments.
The University of Wisconsin – Madison’s media team was quick to respond to the video via social media, tweeting, “UW puts tissue to lifesaving uses – would otherwise be discarded. No one at UW pushing abortion.”
While Golden wouldn’t admit to lawmakers just where, specifically, UW researchers obtain fetal tissue, academic articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals confirm that Dr. Shannon Kenney, a UW scientist and professor, used fetal liver and thymus tissue from Advanced Bioscience Resources for studies published in 2011 and 2012.
Another study published by Kenney and her team in 2013 doesn’t specify the source of the fetal tissue used, but claims it was “obtained from cadaverous sources.” Scientists in that study implanted fragments of the tissue in mice, and then injected the mice with human cells derived from fetal body parts.
A now former-Planned Parenthood official was caught on camera by the Center for Medical Progress saying her organization has an established relationship with Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR). A POLITICO piece on ABR transcribes the video as follows:
“We have already a relationship with ABR. … We’ve been using them for over 10 years — a really long time. … They’re doing the big collection for government-level collections.”
Excerpts from the University of Wisconsin studies that used fetal tissue acquired from ABR for experiments, and links to the journal articles, may be found on Media Trackers’ website.
Republicans in Wisconsin have vowed they will pass the legislation banning scientific research involving aborted fetal body parts, but Gov. Scott Walker has not yet said if he will sign the measure. The Governor’s office did tell the Wisconsin State Journal that Walker will work to “ban these practices in Wisconsin.”
A frequent talking point used by Walker on the presidential campaign trail is that he defunded Planned Parenthood as governor, but that’s only partially true. The abortion provider is the exclusive recipient of federal Title X family planning funds in Wisconsin, and just recently Walker came out in favor of a legislator-advanced plan to follow the lead of Texas and Kansas, states that redirected Title X funds away from Planned Parenthood to other women’s care providers.