Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has admitted to using foetal tissue from aborted foetuses for medical research in the early 1990s, but insists that he obtained the tissue differently than how Planned Parenthood obtains and sells it.
Details of Carson's medical research with foetal tissue emerged on 12 August, when fellow doctor Jen Gunter discussed a paper written by Carson on research using "human choroid plexus ependyma and nasal mucosa from two foetuses aborted in the ninth and 17th week of gestation."
Gunter criticised Carson, writing, "Perhaps Dr Carson feels that only his work delivered the goods and all other researchers have produced inconsequential work."
According to USA Today, she added, "Maybe he forgot that he'd done the research on foetal tissue? Convenient I suppose if you are a Presidential hopeful and want to use your doctor credentials to get prime Fox and Brietbart space and there is a foetal-tissue-for-research issue."
Carson has said he supports eliminating federal funding for Planned Parenthood because it supplies foetal tissue and has said that medical research does not require aborted foetuses, USA Today reported.
The Washington Post reported that Carson rejected Gunter's comparison between his work and what Planned Parenthood has been accused of doing.
"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."
Carson's complex explanation appears to state that the foetal tissue he used for research was not from foetuses aborted specifically for medical research. According to the Washington Post, he also appears to be accusing Planned Parenthood of doing just that.
Planned Parenthood has come under fire by Republicans after a series of videos allege to demonstrate how the organisation profits from selling foetal tissue. This has caused presidential candidates to promise to defund the organisation of about $500m (£320m) in annual federal funding.