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Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

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Judicial Watch Represents the Center for Medical Progress in Lawsuits against HHS for Grant Applications Related to the Use of Human Fetal Tissue

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch announced today it is representing The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) which filed two separate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for grant applications related to the use of human fetal tissue (Center for Medical Progress v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-00641)); (Center for Medical Progress v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-00642)). CMP is responsible for the 2015 series of undercover videos exposing the harvesting and trafficking of aborted fetal body parts at Planned Parenthood. 

The first lawsuit was filed after HHS had provided 214 pages of records in response to an April 28, 2020, FOIA request and withheld additional records without giving any reason for the withholdings. The FOIA request asked for grant applications related to two separate Brain and Tissue Repositories. 

The second lawsuit was filed after HHS failed to respond to an April 28, 2020, FOIA request seeking the grant applications for a University of Pittsburgh “tissue hub and collection site,” a mouse and human kidney development project that utilizes human tissue and a molecular mapping project that uses human tissue to map cell types along the urethra.

Both requests identified each grant application by project name and by project number and included both the name of the Project Investigator (PI) and a hyperlink to the location on NIH’s website where an abstract of the project could be found.

David Daleiden, founder and executive director of The Center for Medical Progress, stated, “The full truth about barbaric government-sponsored experiments on aborted children has yet to be revealed to the American people who have been forced to subsidize it. When the facts are uncovered, federal courts are recognizing ‘There is reason to question the lawfulness of the transactions’ where aborted baby body parts are traded like widgets on an assembly line. We are proud to stand with Judicial Watch in seeking transparency and accountability for taxpayer-funded trafficking of aborted fetuses.” 

“When the federal government conducts shocking research that involves human fetal tissue, Americans have a right to know basic information about where these human remains come from, who is providing them, how they are acquired and why the research is necessary,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  

In March 2021, a federal court ordered HHS to release additional information about its purchases of organs harvested from aborted human fetuses. The court also found “there is reason to question” whether the transactions violate federal law barring the sale of fetal organs.

In May 2021, Judicial Watch announced it had uncovered records from the FDA showing the agency spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to buy human fetal tissue from California-based Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR). The tissue was used in creating “humanized mice” to test “biologic drug products.” The records show the agency ordered shipments to be “fresh; shipped on wet ice.” 

In June 2020, Judicial Watch released records showing the FDA between 2012 and 2018 entered into eight contracts worth $96,370 with Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) to acquire “fresh and never frozen” tissue from 1st and 2nd trimester aborted fetuses for use in creating humanized mice for ongoing research. In February 2020, Judicial Watch made public additional humanized mice records.

In June 2019, The Trump administration announced that it would “discontinue intramural research (i.e., internal) projects involving fetal tissue from elective abortions at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and (would) add additional ethics review for new extramural research (i.e., external) involving such tissue.”

In August 2020, Science Magazine reported that the Trump administration’s Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board rejected 13 of 14 studies that used human fetal tissue. The Biden administration announced on April 16, 2021, that it would again allow taxpayer funding of this controversial research.

The Center for Medical Progress is a group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances. They are concerned about contemporary bioethical issues that impact human dignity, and oppose any interventions, procedures, and experiments that exploit the unequal legal status of any class of human beings. They envision a world in which medical practice and biotechnology ally with and serve the goods of human nature and do not destroy, disfigure, or work against them.

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