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November 25, 1974

Research on the Fetus

Author Affiliations

Brandenburg, Ky

JAMA. 1974;230(8):1124. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240080014003

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To the Editor.—  They casually dismiss all objections to abortion as a matter of philosophic preference and imply that only in the context of lawless laissez-faire will science progress.Abortion is not a victimless crime. It entails a lethal attack on the life of the defenseless unborn. Antiabortion legislation formalizes our most fundamental commitment, personal and professional, to the sanctity of human life. Reasonable and proper research neither requires nor justifies a legislative carte blanche.Serious attention to establishment of ethical guidelines for fetal experimentation preserves the dignity of life, while permitting continuance of legitimate research. We must ensure that no less reverence is accorded the remains of the unborn child than that of the delivered. Immediate and forceful restrictions must be imposed on experimentation with the living "abortus." Unassailed reports of grotesque manipulation of breathing, beating-heart "products of conception" stand as an indictment of the entire medical profession. The