Michigan Republicans vote to criminalize research on cells from aborted fetuses

Lawmakers in Michigan approved legislation in a late-night vote this week that would criminalize the use of cells from aborted fetuses in scientific research.

The Michigan legislature voted largely along party lines in the early morning hours on Friday on two bills that would effectively ban the use of cells from “organ, tissue or cell taken from a dead embryo, fetus or neonate obtained from an abortion” in scientific research and would make violation of that law a felony and face up to five years in prison.

Michigan Democrats voted against the bill, joined by a lone Republican lawmaker, Rep. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City). The bills will now head to the desk of Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D), who is fully expected to veto both. While neither bill had been scheduled for a vote this week, Republicans in the legislature pulled the bills from committee on Thursday night and voted on them without debate or discussion.

Under the current law in Michigan, an individual who has an abortion procedure is allowed to donate the fetal or embryonic matter to be used in research. Abortion providers are barred by law from benefiting financially from providing the tissue to research facilities and the state is heavily involved in regulating any transfer of medical matter from abortions to research facilities.

According to the National Institute of Health, fetal research “has led to improved techniques of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer, and to major advances in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that threaten the survival of fetuses and pregnant women.”

Some of the areas that have used fetal research include vaccine efficacy research, detection of Rh incompatibility, and the detection and treatment of various fetal abnormalities.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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