Republican lawmakers are reviving a push to restrict research done in Wisconsin that relies on fetal tissue from abortions.
The proposed bill would ban researchers from using fetal tissue obtained from an abortion done after the start of this year. State Senator Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls), a co-sponsor of the measure, says the intent is to make sure unborn children are being protected. “We are just trying to make sure that the unborn child is being treated with the equality, fairness, and respect that we use to treat all other forms of human life.”
Previous attempts to target fetal tissue research in Wisconsin have faced stiff resistance, due to concerns about the effect it may have on biomedical research done in the state. Cures for Tomorrow, a coalition of research groups, argue this latest proposal would ban life-saving research from being done in the state.
“The bill would reach into labs and end ongoing, pioneering research on heart disease, cancer, infectious disease, and neurological and developmental disorders,” said spokesman Rod Hise in a statement. “The ban would be devastating to the remarkable opportunity we have to develop new, lifesaving vaccines, therapies and cures that will benefit patients across Wisconsin.”
Moulton says he doesn’t believe that’s true, since researchers could still use existing stem cell lines or those derived from tissue donated as a result of a stillbirth or miscarriage. “I’m not opposed to fetal tissue research,” he says. “I am opposed to fetal tissue research that’s done on aborted babies…I think that is morally wrong and unethical.”