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John Whitehead's Commentary

Aborted Babies Are Big Business

John Whitehead
A black curtain of silence surrounds the present-day research being conducted on aborted babies. One reason is the scientific community's current focus on stem cell research. At least, that is where the societal debate centers.

Several factors may explain the silence on the current state of research using aborted babies. First, the scientific community suffered a severe backlash at the end of the 1990s when trafficking in baby parts was uncovered. As a result, scientists have worked feverishly to conceal their current activity. Second, society has largely come to accept the use of aborted babies for research. After all, organ donation is highly encouraged.

Scientists and researchers worldwide have experimented on aborted babies in various ways over the past century, with more varied and atrocious uses being developed as time moves on. Perhaps one of the better-known uses of aborted babies was the development of vaccines including polio, hepatitis A, chicken pox and rubella. Aborted baby cells were used in order to grow the chicken pox and rubella viruses and then other baby cells were used to cultivate the vaccines. Rubella's development with aborted baby cells is especially concerning in light of the fact that the Japanese developed their rubella vaccine without these types of cells. Nevertheless, the National Institutes of Health has funded AIDS research involving baby organ transplants into mice. Thus, aborted babies are instrumental in the development of U.S. vaccines, while other countries are able to develop and use vaccines without resorting to these methods.

Some of the most horrific uses of aborted babies do not occur in laboratories but in common, everyday life. For example, according to news reports, elite Russians have begun a new trend of using aborted baby stem cells as Botox-like injections in order to smooth wrinkles and remove cellulite. This expensive treatment has enlarged the market for aborted babies, with their bodies being sold to beauty clinics for over $8,000 each. Another use of aborted babies occurs in China where doctors reportedly take the babies home and eat them. As one doctor explains, they believe that the babies "can make your skin smoother, your body stronger, and are good for kidneys."

The methods of procuring aborted babies for research are perhaps even more disturbing than the actual uses for which researchers seek these tiny humans. First and foremost, many people live in the lie that the researchers are far removed from the actual act of abortion. It is believed that researchers are simply doing something "useful" with the remains from the abortionist's actions. Researchers, however, are intimately involved with the abortionist and the actual act of aborting these little babies.

In fact, the issue of time proves the close relation between researchers and abortionists. When dealing with living tissue of any kind, time is of the essence. Since the research requires that the tissue be living, the babies must be preserved immediately after being aborted.

Procedures are modified for the sake of research, but of even more concern are the live births that occur during abortions. Swedish procedures have been described as "puncturing the sac of a pregnant woman at let us say 14 to 16 weeks, and then they put a clamp on the head of the baby, pull the head down into the neck of the womb, drill a hole into the baby's head, and then put a suction machine into the brain and suck out the brain cells." The drive for live baby tissue for research prompted procedures such as this where the baby is extracted whole from his mother, after having his brain cells vacuumed out and preserved on ice.

Even more alarming is the procedure called "prostaglandin abortion" where the baby is born alive about half the time. However, as one writer notes, the researchers "... simply open up the abdomen of the baby with no anesthesia, and take out the liver and kidneys, etc."

The horror continues. According to an industry insider for 11 years, who was an owner or partner in 26 abortion clinics, "... 'live births' were the industry's 'dirty little secret.' It was always very disturbing, so the doctor would try to conceal it from the rest of the staff." A portion of these births occur during the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure. Some researchers have even gone so far as to perform tests and research on these born-alive babies.

There are dreadful consequences to actually using the vaccines and treatments derived from this research, as such products encourage further research down the road. In short, since using the products creates a market for the research, the researchers have no logical reason to stop the work they are doing. For example, various politicians have justified embryonic stem cell research by pointing to the existing polio and chickenpox vaccines, which were developed using aborted babies. Since the unsuspecting public does not speak out against the production of these vaccines, legislators and researchers accept vaccination by the public as tacit consent for this research.

In addition to creating a drive for further research utilizing aborted babies, the products also create a market for the babies themselves that spans the entire world. And it is all about big business and making money. To truly see the size of this worldwide market in baby humans, one author examined the corporate literature of a pharmaceutical firm. It explained that human embryo research would lead to profits in several key areas: hormones; blood proteins; anti-viral, anti-bacterial or anti-carcinogenic agents; vaccines; healthy DNA and recombinant DNA; and biological warfare agents. Consumers who use the products and treatments derived from this research drive the demand that pharmaceutical and biotech firms strive to meet by purchasing aborted babies.

Proponents of this type of research proffer several arguments to justify their work. Justification lies in the autonomy of the woman who "donates" her dead baby for research. By starting at female autonomy, these proponents must carry their arguments to the logical conclusion of research using aborted babies. Anything less erodes the woman's autonomy.

The next, and much more dangerous, justification for this research comes from both sides of the abortion debate. While it is phrased in various ways, this justification assumes that abortions are going to be done anyway so society should try to benefit in some way and not waste these babies.

One word can refute this "let's not let it go to waste" mentality: the Holocaust. Nazi doctors used this precise argument to justify the research they performed on Jews during the Holocaust. According to a medical consultant at the Nuremberg trials, the Nazi doctors claimed that "since the Jews would die in the concentration camp one might as well obtain some good for humanity out of them." This argument, of course, does not rest in sound logic. Indeed, a woman's decision to have an abortion, however protected, does not change the nature or quality of fetal life. We do not subject the aged dying to unconsented experimentation, nor should we subject the youthful dying. If this argument is taken seriously, there is no stopping point for research. Why not dissect an aged dying person right before death?

Throughout all the research involving aborted babies, one theme emerges: the "specimens" do not have human rights. The great paradox in this is that while our laws provide a no-human-being status to an unborn baby, the baby is considered human for the purpose of scientific experimentation.

It seems that some of our "scientists" have found their dream come true. They have an abundant supply of "material" that is human enough to perform a wide array of research upon, but the laws afford no human protection to these babies. This leaves just one question: How long will it be until society allows experimentation on handicapped people, those on life support or a person on death row? After all, they are going to die anyway.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His most recent books are the best-selling Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the award-winning A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, and a debut dystopian fiction novel, The Erik Blair Diaries. Whitehead can be contacted at Nisha Whitehead is the Executive Director of The Rutherford Institute. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at

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