Ben Carson is just one of the many in the Republican clown car who was outraged by the deceptive videos that purported to show Planned Parenthood selling fetal tissue. Of course, Dr. Carson opposes fetal tissue research now. He has to, or they’ll kick him out of the clown car, or maybe make him ride in the back with Donald Trump.
Would it surprise you to learn that DOCTOR Ben Carson once conducted research using fetal tissue?
Back in July, Carson told Megyn Kelly on Fox News:
[I]t’s been over-promised what the benefits of fetal research would be. And very much under-delivered. And if you go back over the years, and look at the research that has been done and all the things that it was supposed to deliver, very little of that has been done, and there’s nothing that can’t be done without fetal tissue.
But in 1992, Carson was one of four doctors whose name appeared on a paper titled “Colloid Cysts of the Third Ventricle: Immunohistochemical evidence for nonneuropithelial differentiation.” In the “Materials and Methods” section of that paper, it states that ““human choroid plexus ependyma and nasal mucosa from two fetuses aborted in the ninth and 17th week of gestation” was used for the research.
Now, Carson thinks that at 17 weeks, a fetus is basically a human being. He said,
At 17 weeks, you’ve got a nice little nose and little fingers and hands and the heart’s beating. It can respond to environmental stimulus. How can you believe that that’s just an irrelevant mass of cells? That’s what they want you to believe, when in fact it is a human being.
Dr. Jen Gunter, who blogs about medical issues, is not impressed by Carson’s change of heart on fetal tissue research. In an August 12 post, she observes that fetal tissue is being used to develop an Ebola vaccine, as well as being used to help give researchers a better understanding of a variety of diseases.
Gunter muses on why Carson holds a different opinion on the use of fetal tissue now, as a Republican presidential candidate, than what he used to hold as a medical professional. Then she answers her own question. She says,
Maybe he forgot that he’d done the research on fetal tissue? Convenient I suppose if you are a Presidential hopeful and want to use your doctor credentials to get prime Fox and Brietbart space and there is a fetal-tissue-for-research issue.
After Gunter called Carson on his hypocrisy, Carson addressed the issue, telling 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.
That comment is rather strange, considering that no one, not Planned Parenthood, not medical researchers, is deliberately “killing babies” for their tissue. Carson has to know that. But of course, as a GOP candidate, he has to explain away his past activity by making a distinction between what he did, and what Planned Parenthood is accused of doing.
There is one point about the whole Planned Parenthood/fetal tissue issue that Gunter doesn’t touch, and someone should call Carson, and the other GOP candidates out on it. Women are going to have abortions. Regardless of your position on the matter, that’s a fact.
Those aborted fetuses can be buried, or otherwise disposed of, or they can be used to help, living, breathing human beings, who are suffering from a variety of diseases and medical conditions. What is so wrong with that?
Featured image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr