Campus Reform | Watchdog group claims Stanford broke funding laws with experiment involving aborted babies and mice

Watchdog group claims Stanford broke funding laws with experiment involving aborted babies and mice

The White Coat Waste Project is alleging that Stanford University violated federal law with a research project involving aborted babies.

The university did not explicitly list funding sources for the studies — one of which involved implanting fingers from the remains of unborn babies into five-day-old mice.

A medical ethics nonprofit is alleging that Stanford University broke federal law with a research project involving aborted babies.

The White Coat Waste Project — a non-profit organization working to stop “wasteful,” publicly funded animal testing — filed a complaint with the National Institute of Health alleging that Stanford University repeatedly violated federal law by failing to disclose how much taxpayer money was spent on experiments that entailed implanting fingers and femurs from aborted human babies into mice. 

In the 2018 study, fingers from the remains of eighteen-week-old human fetuses were implanted into five-day-old mice. Four weeks later, the researchers broke the fingers and left them inside the baby mice for two more weeks.

In another study published two years later, ten to eighteen-week-old fingers harvested from human fetal samples were “obtained commercially through StemExpress.” They were then “dissected and transplanted under the dorsum of immunocompromised” mice for six to eighteen weeks. 

Because the projects were funded by NIH grants, spending must be disclosed in public communications.

[RELATED: University abortion course taught by woman identified as PP employee discussing selling fetal tissue in sting video]

WCW alleges in its complaint to the NIH that Stanford University violated a federal spending transparency law called the Stevens Amendment for failing to disclose spending details in each projects’ press release. The amendment requires that all public communications regarding projects “funded in whole or in part with HHS federal funds” detail the “percentage and dollar amount of the total costs of the program or project funded with federal money.”

“The aforementioned press releases violate this federal law by failing to report the amount 

of taxpayer funding Stanford spent on cruel and wasteful HFT experiments on animals, the percentage of total costs paid for by taxpayers and how much was funded by private 

Sources,” the complaint reads. 

In the complaint, WCW points out that this instance is a “symptom of a broader problem” as the NIH allegedly does not enforce the Stevens Amendment among its grantees. 

In response, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) introduced the Cost Openness and Spending Transparency (COST) Act in March. The legislation would require that all recipients of federal funds comply with the Stevens Amendment and grant the Office of Management and Budget the authority to withhold funding for noncompliance.

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) — a co-sponsor of the COST Act — told Campus Reform that he is “appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to implant the body parts of aborted fetuses into lab animals for unnecessary experiments and that Stanford failed to report how much they spent doing it.”

“I’ve cosponsored the COST Act to hold federal grantees accountable for disclosing exactly how they’re spending taxpayers’ money so we can root out this kind of waste and abuse,” Calvert continued. 

WCW is calling on the NIH to investigate Stanford University for its alleged “federal transparency violations” and hold the university “accountable for its repeated failure to properly disclose taxpayer funding for their HFT experiments on animals.”

[RELATED: Members of Congress question government funded fetal tissue research]

Incoming Executive Director of Pro-Life San Francisco Kristin Turner told Campus Reform that “students will be horrified to learn that their tax dollars and tuition are being abused to implant fingers from aborted babies into animals for revolting experiments in secretive labs right on their campus.”

“These animal experiments using aborted human fetal tissue are unethical and unnecessary and it’s extremely troubling that federal rules that rein them in are being quickly undone by the Biden Administration,” she added.

Stanford School of Medicine hosts a statement of support for animal research on its website.

“At Stanford, all research involving animals is subject to rigorous review by the University Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care,” the statement reads. “In addition, the federal and state governments, as well as independent accreditation organizations, work to ensure that research animals are used only when necessary and under humane conditions.”

Animal testing is often coupled with human fetal tissue research — a practice that has attracted increased scrutiny in recent years. WCW found that roughly 90 percent of human fetal tissue projects involved taxpayer-funded animal testing in fiscal year 2018. 

Campus Reform reported on another recent WCW analysis, which revealed that more than $50 million taxpayer dollars went to human fetal tissue research projects on college campuses in the past year.

Stanford University has not yet responded to Campus Reform’s request for comment.

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