WASHINGTON – The lawyer for a New Mexico anti-abortion group has filed suit against the University of New Mexico Health Services Center in state District Court alleging it broke state law by withholding records related to the study of aborted fetuses.
The lawsuit by Michael J. Seibel, who represents the New Mexico Alliance for Life, contends UNM Health Sciences Center violated the state Inspection of Public Records Act by failing to release documents he requested from a 2015 study “that used extracted eyeballs from babies aborted up to 24 weeks gestation,” according to a statement from the group.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday a U.S. House investigative panel formally issued subpoenas to UNM and Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque in connection with the harvesting and transfer of fetal parts for medical research. Both organizations have said they plan to cooperate with House investigators. Scientists and researchers who analyze and study fetal tissue contend that the science is ethical and helps find cures for diseases.
In his lawsuit, Seibel said he requested documents related to the university’s fetal research program to determine whether it violated state or federal laws, as well as the health center’s internal policies. The lawsuit said his request was designed partly to determine the “scientific merit” of the fetal research. It also aims to determine whether women were adequately informed of the research and that their health was protected.