Did A University Illegally Use Aborted Babies For Research? Court Will Decide

Grace Carr | Reporter

The University of Minnesota (UMN) is facing allegations that it illegally used fetal remains for years to conduct research in its lab.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Thursday in “Pro-Life Action Ministries, Incorporated, et al. vs. Regents of the University of Minnesota,” where the plaintiffs — represented by the Thomas More Society — alleged the university knowingly used aborted baby body parts for a number of years to conduct research.

The oral arguments come after the Thomas More Society (TMS), a non-profit “national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family and religious liberty,” filed a lawsuit in October 2016 alleging UMN had illegally procured and used fetal tissue for research.

UMN “procured human fetal tissue from at least one procurement organization, Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR) Inc. of Alameda, California from at least 2008 to 2015,” the lawsuit posits.

Minnesota law mandates the aborted babies must be cremated or buried. The university, however, sought to circumvent Minnesota’s law by procuring the fetal remains from outside the state, the lawsuit alleges. (RELATED: Ohio Could Require Aborted Babies Be Buried Or Cremated)

University President Eric Kaler initially said the school “does not know all of the various sources of fetal tissue procured by ABR,” but later admitted that ABR had  “procure[d] tissue from induced abortions at clinics throughout the country, including up until July 2015,” Campus Reform reported.

“The University of Minnesota is not exempt from state legislation. How can you trust the research of an institution that condones illegal action?” TMS special counsel Erick Kaardal said, according to a press release. “The school and its research department must be held accountable for placing themselves above the law.”

“The University of Minnesota expressly denied doing fetal tissue research on aborted babies … but is still behaving as if it is above the law,” said Pro-Life Action Ministries Director Brian Gibson.

The case is expected to conclude in the coming months.

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