Bill to ban use of aborted fetal tissue circulated

A Republican-sponsored bill that would ban the sale or use of aborted fetal tissue for research in Wisconsin is being circulated in the Legislature two years after it failed to pass.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports Wednesday that bill sponsor Republican Rep. Andre Jacque, of DePere, says his proposal would ensure scientific integrity.

But University of Wisconsin-Madison and biotech officials say the proposal would hamper important research, including studies on cancer, influenza and diabetes.

UW-Madison spokesman Terry Devitt says the bill could criminalize “a whole raft of research” by banning widely-used cell lines derived from fetal tissue in the 1970s.

Bryan Renk, executive director of state biotech association BioForward, says the cell lines are used in many cancer and flu studies.