(National Review) In the aftermath of the release of the Center for Medical Progress's hidden-camera video showing a Planned Parenthood official, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, touting the ability and willingness of the abortion provider to harvest fetal tissue — hearts, lungs, and "always as many intact livers as possible" — two questions come to mind: What kinds of research require the fetal body parts that Planned Parenthood is supplying? And are these tissues harvested from aborted fetuses actually necessary for the advancement of the research?
Some scientists are especially "interested in doing research with fetal liver because it's a rich source of stem cells," which can have important therapeutic applications, says Dr. David Prentice, research director for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a pro-life group, and Indiana University stem-cell specialist. "At that point in your life while you're in the womb, from about eight weeks after conception up to about 20 to 24 weeks, the fetal liver is very rich in stem cells. They're the kinds of stem cells that you would find in bone marrow," Prentice says.
But, he says, the dubiously ethical practice isn't nearly as important or useful as it used to be. "Frankly," he says, "there is no advantage, nowadays, in fetal stem cells over adult cells. The science has matured."
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