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Ben Carson: No Apology for 1992 Fetal Tissue Research

Ben Carson: No Apology for 1992 Fetal Tissue Research
(Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 13 August 2015 01:18 PM

Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson is defending research he did in 1992 on aborted fetal tissue, saying that the revelation is both "desperate" and ignorant.

Carson told The Washington Post that "you have to look at the intent. To willfully ignore evidence that you have for some ideological reason is wrong."

"This has everything to do with how it's acquired. 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," Carson said.

The research, which was co-authored by Carson, was revealed by Dr. Jen Gunter, an OB-GYN and pain medicine doctor, who said that while Carson was "opining on the uselessness of fetal tissue research to Megyn Kelly, Dr. Carson neglected to mention his own paper Colloid Cysts of the Third Ventricle: Immunohistochemical evidence for non-neuropithelial differentiation published in Hum Pathold … in 1992."

The section cited by Gunter says that "Human choroid plexus, ependyma, and nasal mucosa were obtained from two fetuses aborted at the ninth and 17th week of gestation."

After the Center for Medical Progress began releasing its videos in July, allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials selling aborted fetal tissue for profit, Carson said in an interview on Fox News that there was "nothing that can't be done without fetal tissue," reports Breitbart News Network.

Gunter asked if he could "think his own research was useless? If it was non-contributory to the field, why was it published? Maybe he forgot that he'd done the research on fetal tissue?"

Carson told the Post that he had not forgotten the research and said that he does think it was useful. However, he also said he hasn't done fetal research since then.

"When we obtain tissue like that, we want to know what the origin of that tissue is developmentally," he said. "Knowing that helps us determine which patients are likely to develop a problem."

"It's one of the reasons why, at the turn of the last century, the average age of death was 47. Now, the average age of death is 80. Using the information that you have is a smart thing, not a dumb thing," the presidential hopeful said.

According to the Post, Carson said that research on fetal tissue should not be banned and that it is not immoral.

"Bear this in mind about pathologists. Regardless of what their ideology is, when they receive tissue, they prepare the tissue. They label it. They mark how it got there. Regardless of whether it's from a fetus or someone who's 150 years old, they bank them in tissue blocks," Carson said.

"Other people doing comparative research need to have a basis. When pathologists receive specimen, their job is to prepare the specimen. They have no job opining on where the tissue came from," he said.

He added that he finds no contradiction between his pro-life views and the research he did.

"My primary responsibility in that research was when I operated on people and obtained the tissue," Carson said.

While Carson believes that Planned Parenthood should stop distributing fetal tissue and believes the federal government should stop funding the group, he said that he would not call for researchers to stop using fetal tissue for research as long as it's available.

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Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson is defending research he did in 1992 on aborted fetal tissue, saying that the revelation is both "desperate" and ignorant.
ben carson, fetal tissue, research, planned parenthood
Thursday, 13 August 2015 01:18 PM
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