Published On: Fri, Oct 21st, 2016

University of Minnesota sued over use of fetal tissue in research, breaking State and federal laws

gavel court scales justice ruling

photo via Pixabay user Succo

Thomas More Society attorneys filed a petition in the Fourth Judicial District of Minnesota in Hennepin County, charging the University of Minnesota with illegally procuring and using human fetal tissue for research. The university has a policy in place that obtains fetal tissue from out of state, circumventing the Minnesota legislature’s intended restrictions.

The statute restricts research using the remains to “laboratory tests necessary for the health of the woman or her future offspring or for purposes of a criminal investigation or determination of parentage.”

“What it’s doing is a crime,” said Erick Kaardal, the Minneapolis attorney who filed the claim on behalf of Pro-Life Action Ministries and an unnamed graduate student. “The University of Minnesota is a criminal.”

“The University of Minnesota is not exempt from state legislation. How can you trust the research of an institution that condones illegal action? The school and its research department must be held accountable for placing themselves above the law.”

The filed petition in Pro-Life Action Ministries, Incorporated, Brian Gibson and Bridget Busacker v. Regents of the University of Minnesota states:

  • The University of Minnesota does not have authority to implement its administrative policy for “procuring and using human fetal tissue for transplantation research” when Minnesota law limits fetal tissue testing to only allow determining parentage prior to burial, for purposes of a criminal investigation, or for the health of the baby’s mother or her future offspring.
  • The University of Minnesota is violating Minnesota fetal tissue research law (as stated in Minnesota statute 145.1621).
  • The University of Minnesota policy allowing the testing of human fetal tissue from out-of-state for transplantation research is preempted by Minnesota law.
  • The Court should issue a writ enjoining the University of Minnesota’s administrative policy for “procuring and using human fetal tissue for transplantation research” as an ongoing violation of Minnesota law.

“The board and administration obtained a thorough legal analysis of whether the university can conduct research utilizing fetal tissue in compliance with state and federal law,” said a statement from University spokesman Evan Lapiska. “This included a review from independent, external counsel affirming that it does.”

Brian Gibson, Executive Director of Pro-Life Action Ministries, remarked, “Part of what makes this case such an affront to the public is that in July 2015 the University of Minnesota expressly denied doing fetal tissue research on aborted babies. After the truth was exposed in September 2015 by the Center for Medical Progress and confirmed by multiple news outlets, the university is still behaving as if it is above the law.” He also noted that the school has blatantly ignored Minnesota law and public outcry by citizens and students.

The Thomas More Society’s filing notes that because the university’s actions are unauthorized, any public funds involved have been misused. Also, the petition states that the university regents have overstepped their jurisdiction in superseding Minnesota’s legislative decisions.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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