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September 1974

Legislative Threat to Fetal Research

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics School of Medicine University of Washington Seattle, WA 98195

Am J Dis Child. 1974;128(3):295-296. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110280025003

The future of research involving human fetal organs and tissues is currently in jeopardy because of legislative attempts to place severe restrictive limitations on this type of study. Pending legislation in both the Senate and House of Representatives (H.R. 7744 and H.R. 10403, sec. 1205), if enacted and enforced, could effectively terminate future experimentation involving human embryos, fetuses, and premature infants. As Representative Paul Rogers (Florida) tactfully pointed out to the joint pediatric research societies, because of the lack of legislative and public education, the important health benefits derived from the study of human fetal and embryonic material are simply not known. Although it is desperately late, the purpose of this marginal comment is to appraise the situation and to arm the pediatrician with a clear summary of the importance of using human tissues in the study of congenital and perinatal problems.

The liberalization of the abortion laws, which followed