“We are cognizant that the HHS OIG has a reputation for performing thorough, non-partisan audits in pursuit of its mission to promote the economy, efficiency, effectiveness, and integrity of HHS programs,” the letter says. “We thus await your unbiased evaluation of the serious concerns we have raised, which may either obviate or confirm the need for additional congressional oversight.”
The university’s fetal tissue research is occurring through a program called the GenitoUrinary Developmental Molecular Anatomy Project. The project’s research focuses on kidney and genitourinary tract development. According to the documents from the HHS, the project had received federal funding starting in 2016.
Those documents say the university is using fetal tissue provided by its partner organizations from aborted babies between six and 42 weeks gestation.
Much of the criticism of the university centers on its wording in the HHS documents that says, “we record the warm ischemic time on our samples and take steps to keep it at a minimum to ensure the highest quality biological specimens.”
The document says, “We get feedback from our users and utilize this feedback to tailor our collection processes on a case-by-case basis to maximize the needs of investigators.”
Some doctors have interpreted this to mean that babies are likely having their organs harvested while alive.
Smith told CNA that he recently chaired a congressional hearing which outlined the Chinese Communist Party’s killing Uyghurs to harvest their organs.
He said that “there is no difference” between the organ harvesting from Uyghurs in China and the unborn babies being used for research by the University of Pittsburgh.
The university has been researching using fetal tissue since 2001, according to the report from the university’s hired firm.