Chicken-Fried News: Incentivizing politics 

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Like a virus, what started as a political attempt to thwart Planned Parenthood threatens to engulf the entire medical research community.

Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, recently sent a letter to University of Oklahoma President David Boren, asking if “the OU Health Science Center or any entities associate[d] with the University of Oklahoma are doing any research using fetal tissue, no matter how it might have been obtained.”

In a media statement, Ritze claimed “the research community is incentivizing abortion clinics,” and “The American public is outraged.”

Eh, not exactly.

Ritze owns family practice in which he has “delivered over 2,000 babies,” according to his official website.

In the 1930s, fetal cells helped create vaccines for polio, rubella, chicken pox and shingles. And, guess what?! Infectious disease specialist Paul Offit recently told Huffington Post that rubella “caused 5,000 spontaneous abortions a year prior to the vaccine.”

Scientists also use the material to find and develop treatments for juvenile diabetes, cancer, autism, schizophrenia, HIV and AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, vision loss, Ebola and Huntington’s disease.

We’re no doctors, but we think any family medical practice would look a whole lot different without those advancements.

According to the American Society for Cell Biology, this material comes from donors, “hospitals, nonprofit tissue banks, and, in some cases (emphasis ours), abortion clinics.”

Additionally, HHS also states “renumeration and compensation” is prohibited “except payment for reasonable expenses occasioned by the actual retrieval, storage, preparation and transportation of the tissues.”

Yes, it’s used in medical research. Yes, it’s ethical and legal and guidelines help keep it so. Yes, it saves lives.

We’d like to think we saved Mr. Boren — and our lawmakers — a lot of time.

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