UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

Ben Carson Used Fetal Tissue

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson once used human fetal tissue for research, despite recently condemning the practice as something that “overpromised” and “underdelivered.” In 1992, Carson, a Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon, conducted research on brain and nasal cavity from two fetuses aborted at nine and 17 weeks. “At 17 weeks, you’ve got a nice little nose and little fingers and hands and the heart’s beating. It can respond to environmental stimulus,” he said. “How can you believe that that’s just an irrelevant mass of cells? That’s what they want you to believe, when in fact it is a human being.”

Carson dismissed the BuzzFeed story as “desperate” in an interview with The Washington Post. “You have to look at the intent,” he said. “To willfully ignore evidence that you have for some ideological reason is wrong. If you’re killing babies and taking the tissue, that’s a very different thing than taking a dead specimen and keeping a record of it.”