Joe Biden’s Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra dodged a question during a congressional hearing last week about fetal tissue research involving live-birth organ harvesting.
Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-NY) asked Becerra about allegations that the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) may have illegally obtained tissue and organs from aborted babies. Specifically, he asked if it would be a violation of law if research material was obtained from babies who were born alive and then killed by harvesting tissue or organs.
Becerra gave a broad response that failed to address the allegations about research at UPMC. He simply said there are “absolutely standards” in place for use of fetal tissue. He also said that “all of us understand” the importance of following the laws that apply to “securing the fetal tissue.”
Becerra also said that “HHS needed to ensure” that taxpayer funds are not used to violate the law.
HHS has been facing questions recently about the alleged experiments with fetal tissue that have taken place at UPMC. The university has been accused of participating in a research program funded by federal dollars that seeks to create an organ “pipeline” for research.
Several physicians told Fox News that statements by the university indicate the possibility that organs have been removed from living fetuses.
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) described the inquiry of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) into the collection practices at UPMC as “extremely concerning and completely unacceptable.” He harshly criticized the investigative report prepared by an outside law firm on behalf of UPMC as “woefully inadequate.”
Daines said that the Biden administration has chosen to rely on an outside report paid for by UPMC rather than conducting its own investigation. He said the report that has been provided fails to address concerns about the abortion methods used to obtain fetal tissue at the school.
Fetal tissue research continues to receive millions of dollars in funding nationwide from HHS and NIH.
Jacobs also asked Becerra during the hearing last week if he could identify clinical treatments using fetal tissue. Becerra did not provide any treatments and only cited a research project in California.
Jacobs replied to Beccera by pointing out that his staff has not found a “single development” from a hundred years of fetal tissue research.
Dr. David Prentice with the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute said that Beccera may have been mistakenly referring to a California stem cell research project, which differs significantly from fetal tissue research. Prentice confirmed that there are no existing medical treatments using fetal tissue.