Missouri's Anti-Choice Inquisition Continues: House Bans Fetal Tissue Donation

Republicans clearly would rather have aborted fetuses tossed in the garbage instead...
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Republicans clearly would rather have aborted fetuses tossed in the garbage instead...

Earlier this week, we covered the story of Missouri Republican Kurt Schaefer, the chairman of the state legislature's "Sanctity of Life Committee." As you might recall, Schaefer wants all Missouri abortion clinics, especially Planned Parenthood locations, to provide for his committee lists of every woman who has an abortion.

Yes, a politician wants to start some sort of committee database with the names of thousands of women. What could possibly go wrong? I mean, other than hackers dumping the names online or, for that matter, Schaefer doing the same thing himself. If the lists aren't covered under confidentiality protections, every name will end up as public record, easily accessible by any militant anti-choice zealot seeking to punish so-called baby killers.

It's all because of the deceptively-edited videos released by David Daleiden and the anti-choice front group, Center for Medical Progress, alleging (falsely) that Planned Parenthood has been harvesting and selling fetus parts on some sort of grisly black market. Of course a dozen or so state-level investigations have debunked the videos, showing zero wrongdoing on behalf of Planned Parenthood -- states including red state Tea Party governors like Rick Scott and Greg Abbott.

In reality, a limited number of Planned Parenthood facilities donate fetal tissue, with permission from women seeking abortions, to various medical research labs in accordance with a law passed in 1993 with overwhelming bipartisan support (93 to 4) authorizing the usage of the tissues for finding cures for diseases such as Parkison's and Alzheimer's. In fact, the Senate Republicans who supported the 1993 bill included Chuck Grassley, John McCain, Strom Thurmond (!!!), Thad Cochran and, yes, Mitch McConnell.

Oh, and one of the state investigations to have exonerated Planned Parenthood? Missouri. Yet despite the state's attorney general finding no evidence of illegal fetus tissue harvesting, the Missouri House voted to ban fetal tissue donation. 

The Associated Press:

The Missouri House is advancing legislation to ban donation of fetal tissue from abortions. House members in a voice vote Tuesday gave the legislation initial approval…. It needs a second vote in the House to move to the Senate.

(Ht Steve Benen at MaddowBlog)

Fascinating move given how Missouri already has a ban on fetal tissue research on the books. The donation of tissue is still legal, but the research isn't. Combined, however, this leads to one immovable conclusion.

If fetal tissue donations are banned, as with the research itself, then all aborted fetuses will simply be tossed out with the medical waste instead of being used to cure diseases. It's not explicitly what Missouri Republicans want, but but banning tissue donations, they're forcing clinics to just toss the fetuses in the garbage. Which is, of course, a really bizarre preference for self-identified pro-lifers.

Meanwhile, contempt proceedings against Planned Parenthood officials are on a temporary hold. Schaefer's committee had subpoenaed the list of names and, naturally, Planned Parenthood refused under the protection of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Nevertheless, the inquisition continues. And it won't end until voters oust these duplicitous GOP scam artists. Hell, even pro-lifers should demand the GOP allow legal fetal tissue donation and research if for no other reason than to put the discarded tissue to good use.