The vote followed weeks of controversy surrounding PP’s process of fetal tissue donation – which anti-abortion extremists call “selling aborted baby parts.”
A crusade to defund PP gained traction in 2011, when Tea Party politicians took office, but as the 2016 Democratic presidential candidates grow increasingly popular, Republicans are scurrying to deny healthcare to as many low-income and impoverished Americans as they can – before they’re voted out of office.
However, they haven’t always had such a rod up their hindquarters about fetal tissue research. In fact, when their beloved savior, Ronald Reagan, was POTUS in 1988, a panel of experts from the National Institutes of Health overwhelmingly voted in favor of allowing scientists to study biological material obtained from legal abortions. In a 19 to 0 vote, the panel even concluded the practice should be considered morally acceptable because aborted fetal tissue is comparable to tissue derived from cadavers, which is often used in scientific research.
What’s more, in 1993, Republican and Democratic members of Congress voted to legalize fetal tissue research – even when that tissue came from aborted fetuses. From the LA Times:
Donation of fetal tissue and organs for medical purposes is legal, and groups are allowed to charge “reasonable” fees to cover costs associated with “transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control or storage” of the material. The 1993 law prohibits doctors from altering abortion procedures to meet the demand for intact body parts and forbids charging anything beyond those reasonable costs.
From Think Progress:
In addition to the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act, the Senate had several other opportunities to vote on the issue of fetal tissue donation during the 1990s. Each time, a bipartisan majority indicated support for the practice. In 1992, for instance, most Republicans — including McConnell — voted against a proposal to limit fetal tissue research to samples procured from miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies. In 1997, the Senate voted down an amendment to the Udall Parkinson’s Research Act that would have prohibited funding for research on aborted fetal tissue.
A recap: Republicans are hypocrites and they’re running scared.