The Corner


Bioethicist Supports Selling Fetal Parts

In response to Ouch

Kevin: I am as appalled by the Planned Parenthood story as anyone. But I am not surprised. Indeed, some in bioethics support the idea of using aborted fetuses instrumentally in just this manner.

One even urged paying women to gestate for a longer period to make the dead fetuses more usable, perhaps as organ “donors.” Writing several years ago at the Huffingtom Post, Jacob M Appel opined:

Since far more women have legal abortions each year in the United States than would be required to clear organ wait-lists, if only a small percentage of those women could be persuaded to carry their fetuses to the necessary point of development for transplantation, society might realize significant public health benefits.

The government could even step into the marketplace itself to purchase fetal organs for patients on Medicare and Medicaid, ensuring that low-income individuals had equal access to such organs while keeping the “asking price” elevated…

Someday, if we are fortunate, scientific research may make possible farms of artificial “wombs” breeding fetuses for their organs — or even the “miracle” of men raising fetuses in their abdomens. That day remains far off. However, the prospect of fetal-adult organ transplantation is a much more realistic near-term possibility. A market in such organs might benefit both society and the women who choose to take advantage of it.

If you think the unborn child is not a “person,” and indeed of lesser value than animals such as pigs and whales–a mainstream view in bioethics–why wouldn’t you support using fetuses for their parts? 

Indeed, why not use people diagnosed as persistent unconscious in human experimentation or for their organs? Many bioethicists so urge.

Planned Parenthood is just the tip of the iceberg of an accelerating advocacy trend to use the most helpless human beings as natural resources ripe for the harvest. 


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