David Daleiden says NIH-funded research grafted illegally aborted babies' scalps onto lab mice

Pro-life activist urges Congress to investigate experiments on babies born alive

David Daleiden, a defendant in an indictment stemming from a Planned Parenthood video he helped produce, speaks to the media after appearing in court at the Harris County Courthouse on February 4, 2016, in Houston, Texas. Daleiden is facing an indictment on a misdemeanor count of purchasing human organs, and along with defendant Sandra Merritt, is charged with tampering with a governmental record.
David Daleiden, a defendant in an indictment stemming from a Planned Parenthood video he helped produce, speaks to the media after appearing in court at the Harris County Courthouse on February 4, 2016, in Houston, Texas. Daleiden is facing an indictment on a misdemeanor count of purchasing human organs, and along with defendant Sandra Merritt, is charged with tampering with a governmental record. | Eric Kayne/Getty Images

A pro-life activist is calling for Dr. Anthony Fauci to testify before the U.S. Congress about his knowledge of federal funding awarded to a Pennsylvania university conducting experiments on human fetal tissue, including one experiment where illegally aborted babies' scalps were grafted onto lab rats. 

David Daleiden, the founder of the pro-life activist group Center for Medical Progress, said on Fox News last Thursday that the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases should testify about the nearly $500,000 grant his agency awarded to the University of Pittsburgh to conduct research using aborted babies’ scalps.

Daleiden wants Congress to ask Fauci, the most prominent figure overseeing the U.S. coronavirus response, if he knew of potentially illegal actions taken by the institution.

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“At the University of Pittsburgh, they were doing a study where they were taking the scalps of 5-month-old aborted babies, and they were grafting them onto lab rats and lab mice to see how much longer they could keep them growing for,” Daleiden explained. “You can actually see the photographs in the published study of little baby scalps grafted onto the backs of lab rats growing little baby hairs.”

According to Daleiden, “This study was funded by ... multiple grants from the NIAID office, which is run by Dr. Anthony Fauci.”

He contended that Fauci owns “every bit of this study."

“As the head of the NIAID office, the buck stops with him in terms of how those grants are spent — whether they’re being monitored and made sure that they’re ethically and legally and just compliant as far as good stewardship of taxpayer money," Daleiden said. 

In addition to expressing disgust that experiments on aborted fetal body parts received taxpayer funding, Daleiden suggested that the experiments themselves may have broken the law.

“The fact that they were using scalps from 5-month-old aborted babies, that means that the heads of those children probably needed to be intact in order to get the scalps, which is an indication that those are either partial-birth abortion or even infants delivered alive and whole,” he said.

Federal law bans dilation and extraction abortions, also known as partial-birth abortions. The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act signed into law in 2003 prohibits partial-birth abortions. The law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007.

While Fox News did not show the pictures of the experiment on air, a video explaining the University of Pittsburgh’s experimentation with aborted babies on the CMP website does include graphic photos.

As the narrator explained, NIAID has given several additional grants to scientists and programs at the University of Pittsburgh that conduct fetal tissue research.

According to CMP, the experimentation on aborted babies’ scalps was described as “full-thickness human fetal skin cut from the heads and backs of aborted babies then processed via removal of excess fat underneath the babies’ skin before stitching it onto the rats."

"Human skin tissues were obtained from the scalp and dorsum of donors and were used in developing human skin engraftments with and without hair in the mouse model, respectively," the published report states. "Full-thickness human fetal skin was processed via removal of excess fat tissues attached to the subcutaneous layer of the skin, then engrafted over the rib cage, where the mouse skin was previously excised."

According to CMP, another scientist at the university developed a protocol for “harvesting the freshest, most pristine livers from 5-month-old aborted babies in order to isolate massive numbers of stem cells for experimental transplantation into adults.”

The Pittsburgh scientist who developed the protocol received nearly $3 million from the NIH, the parent agency of NIAID, CMP reports. 

The NIH has also awarded the University of Pittsburgh a $1.4 million multi-year grant that makes the university “a distribution hub for aborted fetal kidneys and other fetal body parts for NIH-funded projects across the country," the activist group alleged. 

According to the Center for Medical Progress, the fetal experimentation at the University of Pittsburgh goes back decades to the 1950s, when a doctor “obtained live fetuses from abortions at Pitt’s hospital and tested their reflexes until they died.”

“When I was undercover, Planned Parenthood abortion providers told me that they were the ones who were supplying the aborted baby body parts for experiments at the University of Pittsburgh," Daleiden said in his Fox News interview.

While the university told the media that “there is no procurement relationship for fetal tissue with Planned Parenthood,” archive footage of Daleiden’s undercover exchange with Planned Parenthood officials shows a doctor at Planned Parenthood Western Pennsylvania acknowledging that “there’s a tissue bank … at Pitt that we offer patients to donate to.”

Additionally, the University of Pittsburgh has served as a location for Planned Parenthood’s Ryan Residency, which provides training for many doctors who go on to work for the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Daleiden remains optimistic that more details about the research at the University of Pittsburgh will become public and that people will be held accountable.

“I think that everyday Americans … are justifiably disturbed and upset and sad and want accountability and want enforcement … from their elected representatives, from government officials on these issues," he stressed. 

“We’re talking about a set of government policies with fetal experimentation and experiments on aborted children that basically say that our children are worth more dead than alive,” he added. “It speaks to who we are as a people and who we are … as Americans.”

In a statement to The College Fix, University of Pittsburgh spokesperson Keith Joseph denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

“The University does not obtain fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood, does not use any of its state appropriation to fund fetal tissue research and follows all laws and regulations governing fetal tissue research,” he asserted.

Maintaining that the video footage of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the tissue bank at the University of Pittsburgh was “false,” Joseph argued that “David Daleiden has been repeatedly discredited, ordered to pay millions of dollars after being found liable for breaking multiple state and federal laws, and is now facing felony charges in criminal court.”

The Christian Post reached out to the University of Pittsburgh to respond to Daleiden's claim that NIH funds were used for the research to graft fetal skin on lab mice. A response was not received by press time.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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