In a press release dated September 24, 2018, The Department of Health and Human Services announced that it is terminating its contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources, a fetal tissue procurement company which contracted with multiple Planned Parenthood abortion facilities to harvest aborted fetal body parts to then sell to researchers. ABR was referred for criminal investigation by Congress after a thorough investigation into illegal fetal tissue trafficking in the United States.
Pro-life groups recently brought to light HHS’ contract with ABR, and along with that added scrutiny, various members of Congress as well as leaders of pro-life organizations issued letters to the FDA and HHS urging an end to the contract, which was providing “fresh” aborted human fetal body parts to create humanized mice. The HHS press release states:
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.”