The Washington Post and The New York Times are out today with truly frightening reports. Headlined, “Fetal Tissue Heals Burns,” The Washington Post article reports: An experimental therapy that uses skin cells grown from an aborted fetus successfully healed severe burns in eight children, sparing them the need for skin grafts, according to a study published today. Note carefully that the source of the tissue — an aborted fetus — is identified right in the first paragraph of the article.
Here’s more: Cells grown from the foreskin of circumcised newborns and large pieces of skin removed from cadavers are sometimes used to cover burns and promote healing. The Swiss researchers were the first to use cells from a fetus — a 14-week male whose mother gave permission at the time of abortion.
The researchers claim that the use of fetal tissue produced remarkable results. “The results were sort of unexpected. . . . These constructs seem to work as a biological Band-Aid, promoting spontaneous healing of the patient,” said Patrick Hohlfeld of University Hospital of Lausanne, who was one of the researchers.
What makes this article even more fascinating — and worrying — is the fact that moral objections to the use of tissue from aborted fetuses are not even raised until the last paragraph of the Post’s article: One fetus could theoretically provide material for hundreds or thousands of burn victims, although Hohlfeld said he suspected that would not remove some people’s objections to the use of tissue from an aborted fetus. The same is true for the article in the Times: Because fetal cells grow well in the lab, millions of bandages can be created from one small fetal skin sample, Dr. Hohlfeld said, minimizing if not eliminating ethical concerns. “It is true the origin is a terminated fetus, but one biopsy is enough to treat thousands of patients for years,” he said.
Mr. Hohlfeld is surely right, and I am one of those persons whose objections are not removed. Are we ready to turn aborted fetuses into organ and tissue donors? Is this just the next step of logic accepted and championed by the Culture of Death?
R. Albert Mohler Jr.
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