Bill Obstructing Medical Research Introduced in Iowa

Silencing Science Tracker

Bill Obstructing Medical Research Introduced in Iowa

On November 1, 2017, a bill (Senate File 52) aimed at prohibiting the transfer of fetal body parts was introduced in the Iowa Senate. The bill would, if enacted, make it a felony for any person to:

“knowingly acquire, provide, receive, otherwise transfer, or use a fetal body part in this state, regardless of whether the acquisition, receipt, transfer, or use is for valuable consideration.”

According to media reports, some lawmakers believe the bill is necessary “to ensure that baby body parts aren’t being sold.” However, opponents claim that sales are already controlled by federal law, which prohibits persons profiting from fetal tissue. Opponents also emphasize that the bill goes beyond merely prohibiting sales and makes it an offence for anyone to acquire or use fetal tissue. This would, according to opponents, prevent vital medical research. For this reason, the bill has been opposed by the Iowa Board of Regents, which oversees state universities. The Board of Regents reportedly requested that the bill be amended to allow fetal material to be donated for the purposes of scientific research.

UpdateSenate File 52 was not scheduled for a vote in 2017.


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