Ben Carson conducted research using fetal tissue obtained from abortion clinics

Thanks to a series of selectively edited undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood, the latest conservative line of attack against the non-profit clinic is that they harvested “baby parts” for cash.

When the videos first hit the public with the help of the conservative media complex, GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson slammed Planned Parenthood on Fox News back in July, saying the benefits of fetal tissue research have been “over-promised” and “under-delivered.”

“At 17 weeks, you’ve got a nice little nose and little fingers and hands and the heart’s beating,” Carson said on Fox News. “It can respond to environmental stimulus. How can you believe that that’s just an irrelevant mass of cells? That’s what they want you to believe, when in fact it is a human being.”

The fact is that aborted fetal tissue has been used for medical research for decades. But according to a report from BuzzFeed, scientists are now keeping this research on the down low for fear of being attacked by anti-abortion activists.

But this Wednesday, an OB/GYN and science blogger named Jen Gunter revealed that in 1992, Carson and three other colleagues used the brain and nasal cavity “obtained from two fetuses aborted at the ninth and 17th week of gestation” to study brain chamber development.

“As a neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson knows full well that fetal tissue is essential for medical research,” Gunter wrote. “His discipline would have a hard time being [where] it is today without that kind of work.”

Responding to the revelations, Carson told the Washington Post that Gunter’s piece was “desperate.”

“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.

Interestingly, Carson hasn’t been able to describe how his team’s procurement of fetal tissue was any different from the method that the Planned Parenthood “sting” videos condemn – such as getting the samples from abortion clinics.

“There is absolutely no contradiction between the research I worked on in 1992 and my pro-life views” Carson said in a statement. “The issue of fetal tissue has everything to do with how the tissue is acquired. My primary responsibility in that research was operating on people to obtain diseased tissue for comparison to banked tissue samples. Killing babies and harvesting tissue for sale is very different than taking a dead specimen and keeping a record of it, which is exactly the source of the tissue used in our research.”

[BuzzFeed, ThinkProgress] Featured image: AP

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.

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