In DepthScience Policy

In Wisconsin, an early clash over fetal tissue

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Science  18 Sep 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6254, pp. 1267-1268
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6254.1267

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Legislation advanced last week in the Wisconsin State Assembly may be the first in a series of state-level battles over the use in biomedical research of fetal tissue obtained from abortions. Opposition to the exchange of such tissue has surged in the wake of hidden-camera footage released earlier this year, which shows Planned Parenthood officials discussing how the group fulfills requests from researchers for samples from aborted fetuses. The Wisconsin bill, which would make it a felony violation to use cells or tissues from a fetus aborted after 1 January 2015, has met with strong opposition from the state's research community. Other measures to limit the use of fetal tissue are under discussion in other state legislatures, including Illinois and California, and research advocates fear that new measures will stifle important disease studies.