Last week, the Senate passed SF 359, a bill to ban voluntary fetal tissue donations.
This bill puts politics above good science and medicine. The bill is nothing more than a platform for people who are opposed to abortion to perpetuate lies about abortion providers and women who have abortions.
The legislators behind this bill are the same ones who pushed the personhood bills, would ban all abortion in Iowa and defund Planned Parenthood. This bill does not actually impact the provision of abortion. It simply harms those who could benefit from medical research.
It treats abortion differently since research is allowed on fetal tissue following a miscarriage or stillbirth. While an amendment to the bill protects existing cell lines commonly used in research, it means that no new cell lines will be available in the future.
We don’t know how science will evolve, and to place these kinds of limitation on what kinds of tissue and cells can be researched is short-sighted and could limit future research. While cell lines that meet this definition are available now, several years down the road, there could be a shortage of available cell lines in the future.
Federal law regulates fetal tissue donation. It recognizes the benefits of fetal tissue donation and does not bar the practice. It does, however, ban any organization from participating in tissue donation of any kind for profit.
This bill also sends a message to current and prospective medical researchers that Iowa is not a place to do research on disease curing medical discovery.