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Abraham: HHS right to cancel fetal tissue contract

September 26, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, today celebrated news that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has canceled a contract that allowed a company to use federal funds to buy and sell human fetal tissue.
Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) was awarded a $15,900 contract by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July to acquire “fresh human fetal tissue” to use as research specimens. ABR obtained the contract despite its admission to Congress in 2016 that the company bought fetal tissue from abortion clinics for just $60 per aborted fetus and then sold the child’s individual body parts separately for a large profit.
Dr. Abraham, who is opposed to abortion and the selling of human fetal tissue, and 84 other members of Congress wrote to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb earlier this month urging him to cancel the contract with ABR.

HHS officials announced Tuesday evening that it was canceling the contract and plans to conduct a review of all research involving all fetal tissue to ensure that the research is consistent with federal laws that prohibit the buying and selling of human fetal tissue.
“This company admitted to Congress that it was buying and selling human fetal tissue for profit. There’s simply no reason why taxpayer money should be used to facilitate such a disgusting and immoral enterprise. HHS was right to end this contract, and I look forward to seeing the results of its review so that we can know for certain that none of our federal dollars are going toward this kind of activity,” Dr. Abraham said.

HHS’ full statement on its decision to cancel the contract is as follows:

“After a recent review of a contract between Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. and the Food and Drug Administration to provide human fetal tissue to develop testing protocols, HHS was not sufficiently assured that the contract included the appropriate protections applicable to fetal tissue research or met all other procurement requirements. As a result, that contract has been terminated, and HHS is now conducting an audit of all acquisitions involving human fetal tissue to ensure conformity with procurement and human fetal tissue research laws and regulations. In addition, HHS has initiated a comprehensive review of all research involving fetal tissue to ensure consistency with statutes and regulations governing such research, and to ensure the adequacy of procedures and oversight of this research in light of the serious regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved. Finally, HHS is continuing to review whether adequate alternatives exist to the use of human fetal tissue in HHS funded research and will ensure that efforts to develop such alternatives are funded and accelerated.”
To read Dr. Abraham’s letter to the FDA, click here.