June 7, 2022

Pro-Life Legislators Ask HHS to Investigate Fetal Tissue Research at University of Pittsburgh

Pro-life legislators from the US House and Senate have called on HHS Inspector General Christi Grimm to investigate allegations that the University of Pittsburgh violated federal law with its federally funded fetal tissue research program.

On May 24, legislators sent a letter to Grimm expressing concern that the University of Pittsburgh illegally altered abortion procedures to obtain intact body parts. The letter reiterates concerns from pro-life advocates that the university may have even harvested organs from children who were born alive and later killed after attempted abortions.

“If the babies are born alive after surviving an abortion, are the university and its recipients and subrecipients of HHS funding reducing ‘warm ischemia time’ by keeping the babies alive until their organs or tissues have been harvested to provide blood flow to the organ or tissue for as long as possible?” the letter reads. “If infanticide by organ or tissue harvesting is occurring, it is a crime under Pennsylvania state law. It is also a violation of federal regulation, which requires, among other things, that ‘there will be no added risk to the neonate resulting from the research.'”

The legislators previously asked Attorney General Merrick Garland, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, and NIH Director Francis Collins to investigate back in September 2021, but nothing was done. Lawmakers criticized the administration for its lack of action in its letter last month: “Rather than conduct an independent evaluation of its own, NIH chose to accept and endorse a report that had been paid for by the institution it had been asked to investigate.”