UNM Issues Statement After Pearce And Others Comment On Investigation

Apr 19, 2017

Credit Rep. Steve Pearce (R) New Mexico
  UNM Health Sciences Center today re-ssued this statement on fetal tissue research orginally released in December:

We have always welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate that we have conducted our research, educational and clinical activities ethically, lawfully and transparently.

Fetal tissue research conducted at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center has always been closely regulated. Similar research is conducted at many U.S. academic health centers following stringent protocols.

This work has transformed the lives of extremely premature babies, who are at risk for a host of lifelong deficits. The therapy developed by a UNM HSC pediatrician who is dedicated to saving these babies’ lives has dramatically improved their health outcomes. Children who otherwise would have endured blindness or mental incapacity are thriving.

UNM HSC categorically denies ever having bought or sold fetal tissue. Nor has it made any reimbursement for the tissue it has received from women who consented to donate it for research purposes. 

UNM HSC has worked diligently to cooperate with the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives throughout its inquiry and continues to do so. We have also fully cooperated with the New Mexico Attorney General’s office in its inquiry.

UNM's release came after the office of Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM 2) released this statement:

Congressman Steve Pearce today joined Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (TN-07), New Mexico State Legislators, and pro-life advocates for a Press Conference on the investigation into the University of New Mexico (UNM) and Southwestern Women’s Options’ (SWWO) violation of New Mexico laws.

“Today’s Press Conference was not a debate for life or choice, what matters here is respect for the law. The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, chaired by Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, unraveled deeply troubling questions ongoing in the state of New Mexico throughout their investigations. Of the fifteen criminal referrals sent out by the Select Investigative Panel, two of them were sent to the New Mexico Attorney General’s office in regards to ethical and legal violations at the University of New Mexico and Southwestern Women’s Options, yet no action has been taken to hold someone accountable,” stated Rep. Pearce. “Now, we can no longer remain silent.”

Rep. Pearce continued to state, “we united together today because clear legal violations were made by the University of New Mexico, and no one should be held above the law. Our request for accountability, justice, and respect for the law reaches to the very moral foundations of this country – A nation of laws can only be such if we respect them.”