Here’s a great idea for a horror novel worthy of Stephen King:
A U.S. government agency signs an exclusive contract with one American company to buy tissue from aborted fetuses (gestation 17-22 weeks) that will be used to inject into “humanized mice” used for medical research.
To create a “humanized mouse,” researchers remove its bone marrow and implant thymus and liver tissue from aborted fetuses, to introduce the stem cells and change its immune system. So, in case you were thinking a “humanized mouse” was something out of Disney cartoon, it’s not, at least in this context. This is a real, physical lab mouse, altered to have a functioning human immune system so it can be used to test the adverse effects of drugs. It’s understandable that researchers would want a convenient way to test potential treatments, but they way they go about it in this story is chilling to the marrow.
Since the human fetal tissue must be “fresh,” it can come only from elective abortions, not miscarriages. (As the plant says in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, “Must be blood...must be FRESH!”)
I can think of all sorts of ways this novel could go, all of which are horrific, and all of which involve destroying human babies that are in some cases almost into the third trimester. Wouldn’t this make a horrifying work of science fiction? "Humanized mice" reminds me of "Soylent Green" --- they're both people.
Or I could just decide to write a nonfiction book --- or produce a documentary film --- because this is a real story. The U.S. government agency is our own Food and Drug Administration. The company is Advanced Bioscience Resources, a California non-profit. According to ABR, the tissue comes from first- and second-trimester abortions (and some full-term stillbirths) and must conform to specific “tissue characteristics, preservation methods and delivery times.”
As one might expect, the pro-life lobby is on this. (Apparently, “humanized mice” are a growth industry --- an online search turns up link after link.) The fetal tissue is being purchased by our government with taxpayer money from a company that has partnered with Planned Parenthood. Since the sale or trade of tissue from aborted fetuses for profit is illegal, and donations from hospitals and university labs have proven unreliable, nonprofits such as ABR are serving as sort of a “tissue broker,” a go-between for abortion clinics and scientists. According to its own documents, ABR pays clinics a “nominal fee” to cover costs and then charges the FDA and other clients a markup for their services.
So it seems the trafficking in aborted fetal tissue is alive and well (unlike the fetuses), the one difference being that now there’s a middle man. When contacted by a pro-life journalist for comment, the FDA stated that what they are doing is legal and that “where ABR sources its tissue is not the FDA’s business.”
And that attitude truly is horrifying.