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Public University Admits Using Aborted Human Brains for Dissection

In a shocking video, the dean of the School of Medicine at the University of New Mexico acknowledged that researchers at the school had dissected “one or two fetal brains” as a part of a recent summer workshop.

This report confirms allegations made by the New Mexico Alliance for Life, a pro-life group that alleged that the University of New Mexico was unlawfully using public funds for the dissection of fetal brains. In the video, Dr. Paul Roth, the dean of UNM’s School of Medicine, is questioned by a video journalist about the school’s alleged practice.

Surprisingly, Roth quickly acknowledged that a recent summer workshop had dissected fetal brains: “Yes, we had a faculty member who obtained some tissue, and during one of these summer workshops, uh, dissected I think one or two fetal brains.”

A report from The Albuquerque Journal in late July revealed comments jotted down in notebooks by lab assistants who participated in the summer workshops. The New Mexico Alliance for Life was specifically concerned about what they believed was the “flippant tone of the lab assistant’s notations.”

A lab assistant who screened fetal tissue samples obtained by UNM also wrote in his notebook “whoo hoo!!” when the clinic was able to provide a “whole pancreas” of a fetus for another project and drew a frowning face next to an entry that showed that another fetal pancreas was not intact.

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You can read more about the situation from LifeNews.com:

On June 23, 2016, the Select Panel issued a 291-page letter to New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas referring UNM and Southwestern Women’s Options for criminal charges related to their fetal organ procurement arrangement that violated state laws.

In that letter, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who chairs the Select Panel, referenced the fact that in May 2012, someone at UNMHSC had “asked clinic for digoxin treated tissue 24-28 weeks for methylation study + because [redacted] wants whole, fixed brains to dissect w/ summer camp students. Clinic est. 27 and 28 weeks.”

This macabre request was recorded in a notebook that cataloged numerous fetal organs that had been procured or were requested by UNM.

The referral letter also referenced evidence that Southwestern Women’s Options is the sole provider of “aborted infant tissue” to the UNM Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC).

Protest ABQ obtained Southwestern Women’s Option’s abortion consent forms from 2012 and 2015 that state: “pregnancy tissue may be used in medical research.”

This clearly violates New Mexico’s Jonathan Spradling Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, which prohibits the use of aborted baby remains in medical research.

Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at

Tom Ciccotta