In a letter to two regents with the University of Minnesota this week, University President Eric Kaler acknowledged that the University of Minnesota performs research on human fetal tissue that may have been obtained through induced abortions, including at clinics in Minnesota. 

Kaler wrote: "The University does not know all of the various sources of fetal tissue procured by [Advanced Bioscience Resource] ABR. However, ABR has informed the University that it procures tissue from induced abortions at clinics throughout the country, including up until July 2015, clinics in Minnesota.”

Kaler's letter comes in response to a letter from Regents Chair Dean Johnson and Vice Chair David McMillan that sought to clarify the processes in place at the university related to the procurement of human fetal tissue.

Policies concerning the procurement and use of human fetal tissue for research have come to the forefront recently after a string of covert videos released this summer uncovered representatives of Planned Parenthood engaging in questionable activity at their clinics.

A recently completed internal review of the university's policies regarding human fetal tissue research discovered that the university did not have policies in place to "comprehensively address the disposition of fetal tissue used in research."

This acknowledgement came in a letter from Dr. Brian Hermann, Vice President for Research at the University of Minnesota, on October 14, 2015.  

The letters from Hermann and Kaler both struck a defiant tone and strongly defended the university's practice of human fetal tissue research.

Hermann’s letter specifically mentions that "research using fetal tissues may evoke strong feelings from some Minnesotans" but went on to defend the practice as being “long accepted as part of the research world."

In his letter, Kaler rejects any change in university policy that would restrict the ability of the university to procure human fetal tissue from induced abortions.

Picture source: Aaron Lavinksy

University President Eric Kaler letter re: U's use of human fetal tissue in research by Michael Brodkorb

Letter from U Regents Johnson & McMillan re: U's use of human fetal tissue in research by Michael Brodkorb

Memo from Dr. Brian Herman to Regents re: U's use of human fetal tissue in research by Michael Brodkorb