Over the last two years, Oregon Right to Life has been digging into Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) records. We are thankful that many of you have supported our efforts to acquire those records. We uncovered exactly what we feared: OHSU has been purchasing aborted baby organs to use for research.
The investigation of OHSU’s actions began in August 2015. An OHSU representative, in a comment to the Statesman Journal, denied OHSU’s use of human fetal tissue from abortions. Members of the Oregon Legislature questioned OHSU, which then admitted that some of their researchers had purchased livers and thymuses harvested from aborted babies. The researchers were surgically implanting the organs into living mice.
Each time we received documents from OHSU, more appalling facts surfaced. The company purchasing the aborted baby organs, Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR), was marketing and selling organs for hundreds of dollars per “specimen.”
The documents also included numerous emails exchanged between OHSU and ABR. We have read conversations in which OHSU researchers told ABR that they wanted only high quality fetal organs for the research project. In fact, at least one OHSU researcher personally drove to an abortion facility to pick up the baby organs.
The fact that ABR and OHSU knowingly purchased fetal tissue could constitute a violation of federal law. In November, it was reported that the FBI requested documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s probe into this issue, signaling a wider federal probe into the abortion industry.
In December, we issued a press release detailing OHSU’s actions, hoping that, if the media knew what was happening, they might put pressure on OHSU. The Washington Times then reported that OHSU was using aborted baby organs for research.
Our work is far from done. OHSU needs to be held accountable. This can be accomplished through the “power of the purse” because OHSU receives both federal and state funding.
Oregon’s Secretary of State, Dennis Richardson, needs to audit OHSU to discover whether federal dollars were used to obtain organs and tissue from aborted babies. We also need to find out whether abortion facilities profited from the sale of body parts, which would violate federal law.
[You can help by contacting Secretary of State Richardson and asking him to investigate OHSU.