Senator Praises Federal Investigation Into ‘Barbaric’ Experiments At University Of Pittsburgh
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 19: Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) speaks during a news conference following the weekly Republican Senate policy luncheon meeting at the U.S. Capitol Building on September 19, 2023 in Washington, DC. Senate Republicans spoke to reporters about the House Republicans' negotiation on government funding legislation.
Credit: Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana) praised the federal investigation into the University of Pittsburgh after the school was accused of illegally harvesting fetal tissue from aborted babies for experimentation. 

It was revealed last month through emails obtained by a public records request from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and Judicial Watch that the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general had been looking into Pitt over fetal tissue experiments funded in part by the National Institute of Health, first reported on by CMP in 2019. These experiments included scalping 5-month-old fetuses in order to stitch their scalps and back skin onto lab rats and transporting fetal kidneys to other researchers.

“After years of calling for an investigation into the barbaric research practices happening at the University of Pittsburgh, I’m glad to see the inspector general finally take this seriously. Exploiting the body parts of aborted children is not only repulsive but it has been proven ineffective in producing clinical treatments. It must be stopped,” Daines, founder of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, told The Daily Wire. 

Daines has previously pushed for an investigation into Pitt and government funding of the fetal tissue experiments, signing onto a September 2021 letter urging HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and then-NIH Director Francis Collins to look into the program. 

“Exploiting the body parts of aborted children for research purposes is repulsive and should stop, regardless of the outcome hoped for by researchers. Research using abortive fetal tissue is unethical, wrong, and has also been proven ineffective. Despite being used in clinical research since the 1920s, fetal tissue has not produced a single clinical treatment,” the letter from congressional Republicans said. 

The emails released last month show confirmation of an HHS investigation into Pitt over the issue since at least October 2021, one month after the letter from congressional Republicans. The status of the investigation is unclear, but the HHS Office of Inspector General previously told The Daily Wire that it could “neither confirm nor deny the existence of any investigation, should there be any.”


Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), one of the signers of the September 2021 letter to Becerra, has said that he has been given no answers on the issue either, saying that HHS pointed him to an investigation done by a law firm hired by Pitt to look at the fetal tissue program. 

Pitt has denied any wrong doing, saying that it did not break any federal laws with its programs.

“As we have stated in the past: Fetal tissue research plays a critical role in advancing life-saving discoveries. We remain committed to maintaining robust internal controls and to extending our record of compliance at the state and federal levels, and we take these responsibilities seriously,” a Pitt spokesman said in January 2022. 

RELATED: Federal Investigation Opened Into Pitt Over Fetal Tissue Experiments, Emails Show

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