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Tissue donation programs play a critical role in lifesaving research

Kathy Kneer speaks.

What continues to be lost in the debate to defund Planned Parenthood is the reason our organization, in selected areas, offers women seeking an abortion the opportunity to donate fetal tissue for medical research.

This week several articles have been published about the benefits of such important research.

The New England Journal of Medicine came out in support of the work Planned Parenthood does to prevent unintended pregnancies, and the critical role fetal tissue research plays in improving the lives of everyone.

“Every child who's been spared the risks and misery of chickenpox, rubella, or polio can thank the Nobel Prize recipients and other scientists who used such tissue in research yielding the vaccines that protect us (and give even the unvaccinated the benefit of herd immunity). This work has been going on for nearly a century, and the vaccines it produced have been in use nearly as long. Any discussion of the ethics of fetal tissue research must begin with its unimpeachable claim to have saved the lives and health of millions of people.

The Associated Press reported that scientists have been using such cells to seek treatments for a host of ailments, from vision loss to cancer and AIDS.

"If researchers are unable to work with fetal tissue, there is a huge list of diseases for which researchers would move much more slowly, rather than quickly, to find their cause and how they can be cured,"

And rightfully the Journal editorized against the anti abortion groups seeking to politicize such important research and to "twist the facts" to destroy Planned Parenthood.The Journal also thanked the women who participate in the tissue donation programs which are so important to advancing health care.

"It is shameful that a radical antichoice group whose goal is the destruction of Planned Parenthood continues to twist the facts to achieve its ends. We thank the women who made the choice to help improve the human condition through their tissue donation; we applaud the people who make this work possible and those who use these materials to advance human health. We are outraged by those who debase these women, this work, and Planned Parenthood by distorting the facts for political ends."

We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

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