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De Pere lawmaker wants to ban use of aborted fetal tissues for medical research


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A Republican lawmaker is trying again to ban the use of aborted fetal tissues for medical research in Wisconsin.

Assembly Republican Andre Jacque of De Pere failed to get the measure passed two years ago, during his first term. Now, he’s asking his colleagues to co-sponsor his new bill – which biotech experts say would restrict important medical studies into life-threatening diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Jacque tells the Wisconsin State Journal that aborted children cannot give their consent for research – and it’s important to set high standards in that regard.

The UW’s Terry Devitt said less than 10 Madison scientists use fetal tissue in their research. But he said Jacque’s bill would, “criminalize a whole raft of research” by banning popular stem cell lines that were created with the help of fetal tissues in the 1970’s.

Jacque said scientists should be able to come up with other tissues for those studies. Bryan Renk of Wisconsin’s BioForward group says the cell lines are used in many health studies involving the flu and various cancers. Renk said Jacque’s bill would, “send a message to the world that Wisconsin is not interested in supporting groundbreaking therapeutic research.”

Matt Sande of Pro Life Wisconsin claims that doctors could still get fetal tissue from miscarriages and stillbirths if the parents agree.