AUCKLAND, October 18, 2005 ( – Pro-life groups are roundly criticizing Auckland University scientists who are conducting research on eyes obtained from babies aborted in the US.

New Zealand’s Investigate magazine uncovered what it describes as “Auschwitz-style” experiments on aborted children at the university. Investigate reveals the university has been importing slices of aborted fetuses into New Zealand from America for the past 18 months, in what’s believed to be the first research of its kind in New Zealand.

The University said it approved the research led by Dr Keely Bumsted O’Brien, from the Optometry Department, on the basis of ethical approvals allegedly obtained in the United States, where the fetal body parts are being harvested at abortion clinics. Inquiries by Investigate suggest, however, that there are serious questions about the quality of the ethical approval process in the US. Bumsted O’Brien won a three-year grant worth $827,930 from the taxpayer-funded Health Research Council in May.

A Family Life International statement released Tuesday stated, “The research being conducted at the Auckland University on the remains of aborted foetuses is gravely immoral and it should be stopped immediately. The research that is being carried out on the remains of aborted children at Auckland University is gravely immoral and it can only lead to an even worse devaluing of human life.”

“The mentality that drives such experiments, that the ends justifies the means, is the exact same mentality that fuelled the horrific experiments carried out by Nazi doctors during the Second World War,” the FLI emphasized. “The purchasing of foetal remains, for any reason, turns abortion into a heinous money making exercise, and it further degrades the life of the baby that is lost to abortion and the mother involved.”

The university’s dead baby experiments are currently legal because fetal tissues are excluded from the Human Tissue Act, however new legislation expected in 2006 is expected to make it clear that consent of the mother is necessary before her baby’s remains be used in experiments. The new guidelines are being written by the National Ethics Advisory Committee.

Listen to an Investigate interview with Linda Tracy, the President of Advanced Bioscience Resources Inc, the organisation carrying out fetal body part harvesting in the US: