Republicans in the Iowa House have passed a bill that would create a state ban on both the sale and donation of fetal tissue from abortions for use in medical research.
“This is about making sure that our children and the children in the state of Iowa are not being used as guinea pigs in research,” Representative Matt Windschitl, a Republican from Missouri Valley, said during tonight’s debate.
It is against federal law to profit from the sale of fetal tissue, but this past summer’s release of videos showing Planned Parenthood officials in other states discussing the harvesting of fetal body parts created a political fire storm. Representative Sandy Salmon, a Republican from Janesville, called the videos were “heart-rending and horrifying.”
“Life-saving medical research cannot and should not require the willful destruction of human lives and the buying and selling of their dismembered body parts for it to go forward,” Salmon said.
Representative Joel Fry, a Republican from Osceola, said a state ban on fetal body part sales would be a “pro-active” move.
“This bill comes to us because of many constituents across the state who are interested in having this conversation and making sure that we, in the state of Iowa, aren’t participating or praciting in fetal body part trafficking.”
Critics say the bill would hinder research at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University. Representative Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, a Democrat from Ames, said research using cells from fetal tissue holds great promise for curing tragic diseases.
“House File 2329 puts politics above good science and medicine,” Wessel-Kroeschell said.
Wessel-Kroeschell said Republicans know the bill will not be considered by Democrats who control the debate agenda in the Iowa Senate.
“This bill is dead in the senate. It’s going nowhere,” Wessel-Kroeschell said. “This is a political move in the House.”
House Republicans argued fetal tissue from stillborn children and miscarriages could still be used in research if the bill becomes law. Representative Bobby Kaufmann of Wilton was the only Republican in the House who voted against the bill. One Democrat in the House was absent today, but all the other Democrats in the House voted against the ban.