Professor of Neurobiology: Why We Do Not Need Aborted Babies for Life-Saving Research

In an article in the National Review, associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Maureen L. Condic, argues that Planned Parenthood’s claim that we need aborted babies for life saving medical research is false. Condic mentions Nathalia Holt’s article in the New York Times, “The Case for Fetal-Cell Research,” which justifies fetal research by explaining that it has been used to find stem-cell therapies against cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, blindness, diabetes and H.I.V. However, Condic notes that Holt fails to mention a very important piece of information: the majority of those therapies have come from stem cells that are “isolated from birth-related material and/or adult tissue.” In other words, researchers are having great success with adult stem cells and other adult tissue, making fetal tissue research unnecessary. Secondly, Condic tackles the claim that stem cell research is needed for developing vaccines. She writes, “Researchers in the 1960s and ’70s used fetal cells to produce transformed cell lines because, given the limited knowledge at the time, fetal cells were easier to propagate prior to transformation. Yet in the modern world, fetal cells are not required to produce transformed cell lines. Using current technology, adult cells are readily transformed in a similar manner and have identical properties to fetal-derived cell lines.” She also says the only reason scientists still use “fetally derived, transformed cell lines” is for historic reasons. “These lines have been in use for more than 40 years, we know a great deal about their properties and have built a large number of ‘improvements’ into them, which makes them valuable laboratory tools,”...