Frankel: Stop the Attacks on Science

Heath Committee hearing on organ donation veers into pseudoscience, unfairly attacks Pitt

HARRISBURG, May 4 – As a series of Pennsylvania House Health Committee hearings on reproductive health comes to an end, state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, today urged his GOP colleagues to embrace the many gifts that scientific advancements have given humanity, particularly within medicine, and end their witch hunt against constitutionally protected reproductive rights. 

Tuesday’s hearing on fetal tissue donation and the life-saving science it enables featured a renowned physician scientist from the University of Pittsburgh to explain the school’s work involving fetal tissue and the rigorous legal and ethical standards that are applied to that work. Unfortunately, the Health Committee Republicans also invited an anti-abortion activist from California who has faced civil and criminal charges for his egregious methods in making hoax videos attacking abortion providers.

“Hearings like this one provide a platform and give a veneer of credibility to fantasies developed in the minds of people who want one thing, and one thing alone: to block access to abortion,” Frankel said. “The accusations discussed today are abhorrent, and fortunately, they are untrue. Tissue donation is carefully regulated, and the process is entirely set up to help improve and protect human life. If an organization breaks the rules, there are, appropriately, consequences in place.

“Scientific advancements to combat our most cruel diseases -- like ALS, Parkinson’s and HIV -- depend on the study of human tissue and fetal tissue,” Frankel said. “I fail to see how attacking that research is compatible with the protection of life.”

For a written copy of Frankel’s remarks from today’s hearing, please follow this link.