ALBUQUERQUE, June 24, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A New Mexico abortion clinic once provided a high school summer camp with the “intact” brain of a third-trimester baby for high school summer students to dissect.
The request for the brain came from the University of New Mexico, which has long faced scrutiny over its close relationship with Southwest Women's Options, a late-term abortion facility located in Albuquerque.
Part of that arrangement – which local pro-life leaders said amounts to a taxpayer-funded expansion of abortion in the region – includes SWWO providing aborted babies' organs and tissue to UNM.
The revelation came in nearly 300 pages of documents released by the House Select Panel on Infant Lives as part of a criminal referral of UNM and SWWO to state Attorney General Hector Banderas.
The panel released dozens of pages of handwritten “Procurement Notes” kept by the UNM's Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC).
A handwritten note from May 24, 2012 – on page 186 of the 291-page PDF – reads that that someone from UNMHSC “asked clinic for digoxin treated tissue 24-28 weeks for methylation study + because [name] wants whole, fixed brains to dissect w/summer camp students.”
The UNM runs a Dream Makers Health Careers Program (DMHCP) giving middle and high school students “unique opportunities” to learn about “the health professions.”
The students' activities include “dissection of various specimens,” according to the program's website.
The procurement note adds that SWWO estimated the brain they sent was between “27 and 28 weeks,” at the end of the second or beginning of the third trimester – well after the point that the child would be considered viable outside the womb by the Supreme Court's 1992 Casey decision.
“The fashion in which the nameless UNMHSC employee custom orders baby's brains” is “nothing short of depraved,” the New Mexico Alliance for Life said in its statement.
The procurement notes refer to other “specimens,” including an unborn baby aborted at 30.5 weeks and kept “intact.”
Others had “clubbed feet” or Down syndrome.
“Laboratory notes produced to the Panel reveal that a UNMHSC employee has collected aborted infant tissue from SWWO an average of 39 times a year since 2010,” the panel's chairwoman, Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, noted in her letter to Banderas.
“Organs harvested include brain/head, heart, lung, eyes/retina, kidney, spleen, adrenal gland, intestines, bone marrow, and stomach,” she wrote.
Local pro-life advocates say much of this fetal matter was collected under legally dubious conditions. As recently as 2015, SWWO's consent was a clause in the general waiver mothers had to sign to have an abortion, not a separate form requiring consent for the donation.
“These are the most depraved acts I have ever seen, in over 20 years in the practice of law,” said New Mexico Alliance for Life General Counsel Mike Seibel. “The blatant soliciting of aborted infant brains in order to dissect at a children's summer camp tops it all.”
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Banderas
111 Lomas Blvd NW, Ste 120
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Toll Free: 1-866-627-3249
Phone: (505) 222-9000
Fax: (505) 222-9006