Ben Carson Defends His Research on Fetal Tissue

Blogger calls him out after his criticism of Planned Parenthood
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2015 5:13 PM CDT
Ben Carson Defends His Research on Fetal Tissue
Ben Carson speaks in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Ben Carson finds himself on the defensive today over the issue of fetal tissue research and his own work in the field. The neurosurgeon and GOP candidate has been among those calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood after videos surfaced of an executive there talking about how to provide the tissue to interested medical companies, notes CNN. That kind of research is unnecessary because there's “nothing that can’t be done without fetal tissue," Carson told Fox News last month, per Breitbart. Now, however, Jen Gunter, an OB-GYN, has posted excerpts on her blog of a research paper co-authored by Carson in 1992 in which he and his team used tissue from fetuses aborted in weeks 9 and 17. "Could he think his own research was useless?" she wondered.

There's no contradiction, Carson tells Dave Weigel of the Washington Post:

  • "You have to look at the intent. To willfully ignore evidence that you have for some ideological reason is wrong. If you’re killing babies and taking the tissue, that’s a very different thing than taking a dead specimen and keeping a record of it."
And to CNN:
  • "We have banked material in the pathology lab from people from every age—from day 1 of concept to 120 years told. Those specimens are available for people who want to do comparisons. To not use the tissue that is in a tissue bank, regardless of where it comes from, would be foolish. Why would anybody not do that?"
And in a statement:
  • "There is absolutely no contradiction between the research I worked on in 1992 and my pro-life views. The issue of fetal tissue has everything to do with how the tissue is acquired. My primary responsibility in that research was operating on people to obtain diseased tissue for comparison to banked tissue samples. Killing babies and harvesting tissue for sale is very different than taking a dead specimen and keeping a record of it, which is exactly the source of the tissue used in our research."
(More Ben Carson stories.)

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