Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., is demanding that Colorado State University "commit to no longer using aborted babies' body parts in research" in wake of the allegations that Planned Parenthood is harvesting aborted body parts for profit.
Lamborn wrote a letter to Tony Frank, president of Colorado State University, last week on "the allegations against Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Colorado State University's use of fetal cells in federally funded research."
Frank wrote back to say he does not think the university has violated federal or state law, and said CSU abides by federal regulations when acquiring human tissue samples. Officials also regularly review the school's one research program involving human fetal tissue, which is an NIH-funded investigation into an HIV/AIDS cure. The school obtains the tissue involved in this research legally and the school also does not use entire organs or body parts, Frank said.
However, Lamborn is demanding that Frank ban using any samples from aborted fetuses.
"I call on President Frank to commit to no longer using aborted babies' body parts in research," Lamborn said in a press release. "There are profound ethical, moral and legal questions with this practice that deeply trouble many Coloradans."
CSU has not used fetal tissue from StemExpress since 2013. Since then, the university has used tissue samples from Advanced Bioscience Resources, according to Frank's letter. However, Lamborn said that ABR, along with StemExpress, "is also implicated in the ongoing Center for Medical Progress investigations."
"ABR is a long-time trafficker of aborted babies' body parts. Since 1989, ABR has been obtaining fetal tissue through a variety of methods, including via 'induced abortions,'" Lamborn said. "They even have a fee schedule illustrating that they charge hundreds of dollars in 'service fees' for aborted babies' body parts."
For now, Frank said he is suspending "any further acquisition of fetal tissue from StemExpress or other venders implicated in the Planned Parenthood investigation pending the outcome of the congressional inquiry."
He also said the university is searching for alternatives to aborted fetal tissue so the school may continue the research without controversy. Additionally, the school will ask for all records of the fetal tissue samples from the providers.
"This is not an issue that any of us takes lightly, and we will be closely following the congressional investigation," Frank said.
Lamborn proposed H.R. 3215 in the House Monday, which would "prohibit any person from soliciting or knowingly acquiring, receiving, or accepting a donation of human fetal tissue for any purpose other than disposal of the tissue if the donation affects interstate commerce and the tissue will be or is obtained pursuant to an induced abortion."