A video of the head of the Health Sciences Center at the University of New Mexico admitting the university allowed high school students to dissect fetal brains in a summer camp program has gotten the attention of a national media outlet, which may mean more mainstream coverage is imminent.
Fox News reported this week on the June 23 report from the House Select Panel on Infant Lives in which it referred the university to the New Mexico attorney general for criminal charges for possibly violating New Mexico’s Jonathan Spradling Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.
One of the issues on which Fox reports is the dissection of aborted fetal brains by summer camp students. The story notes:
Blackburn charged the school broke state laws governing the use of aborted fetal tissue it received from Southwestern Women’s Options, which provides late-term abortions. Published reports said the tissue was used for research and even dissected at what has been described as summer camps in 2012 and 2014.
It’s likely that this story got Fox’s attention when, recently, the chancellor of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, who is also the dean of the medical school, Paul Roth, admitted on video — even after being told he was being recorded — that high school students did, in fact, dissect fetal brains in summer camp:
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.
Frank Scaturro, special counsel for the U.S. House Select Panel on Infant Lives, said he would hope New Mexico takes the recommendation seriously.
“I would think if it would come from a legislative body I would think it would carry weight,” says Scaturro.
A spokesman for Balderas confirm [sic] receipt of the criminal referral.
“I can confirm the Office of the Attorney General has received a public referral and this matter is under review,” said James Hallinan. “All complaints received by the Office of the Attorney General are fully reviewed and appropriate action is taken.”
While the report from Fox News is not new, the fact the flagship state university is now garnering the attention of national media is in indicator that this is a story that’s not going away quietly.