Fetal tissue has been used in science since 1954.

Fetal tissue has been used in science since the 1930s and the Nobel in 1954.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is fast-tracking a bill to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood, after senators huddled in his office Tuesday to work out the details of a bill. [The Hill]

REPUBLICANS found another way to go at abortion rights and Planned Parenthood handed it to them. I’d ask why someone is eating lunch and talking about fetal tissue or abortion, but then that’s not something I enjoy talking about for any reason. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell knows his party has found an emotional hook for people to finally blame Planned Parenthood for everything, so they’re going to maximize the leverage and do what they’ve wanted done for a long time.

We all know how anti-science the GOP is, something Planned Parenthood’s Cecil Richards knows too well, as does any woman who has watched conservatives over the last 50 years. The audio of the videos alone play into right-wing ignorance about how fetal tissue has been used to study disease, provide cures, and make medical advancements.

Two things Republicans don’t care about, women’s reproductive health and science, and now they’re targeting both, because what they really care about is ending funding for Planned Parenthood. It’s been a target for the right for a very long time.

“We’re dealing with the health of American women, and they’re dealing with some right wing crazy deal.” – Senator Patty Murray

From the Associated Press, something Republicans should be made to read

IS USING FETAL TISSUE A NEW IDEA?

Hardly. Scientists have worked with it since the 1930s. The 1954 Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded for work with fetal tissue that led to developing a vaccine against polio. The National Institutes of Health spent $76 million on human fetal tissue research in fiscal 2014.

WHAT DISEASES ARE BEING STUDIED TODAY?

AIDS and muscular dystrophy are examples. Some experimental treatments for spinal cord injury and macular degeneration involve transplanting fetal cells into patients. And European researchers recently began a study of putting fetal tissue into patients’ brains to treat Parkinson’s disease, a strategy that has had mixed results in the past. […]

CAN FETAL TISSUE BE SOLD FOR PROFIT?

No, that’s a felony. Organizations or companies that supply the tissue can be reimbursed for expenses associated with costs like processing and storing the tissue, federal law says.

DOES THE WOMAN HAVE TO AGREE TO USING THE TISSUE FOR RESEARCH?

Yes, she has to give consent. And the matter can’t be raised until after she has decided to have an abortion.

UPDATE: Court grants temporary retraining order until August 19.

A temporary restraining order has been issued preventing an anti-abortion group from releasing any video of leaders of a California company that provides fetal tissue to researchers. The group is the same one that previously released three covertly shot videos of a Planned Parenthood leader discussing the sale of aborted fetuses for research.

The Los Angeles Superior Court order issued Tuesday prohibits the Center for Medical Progress from releasing any video of three high-ranking StemExpress officials taken at a restaurant in May. It appears to be the first legal action prohibiting the release of a video from the organization.