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DEVELOPING: Despite controversial allegations, HSC assures regents that fetal tissue is properly disposed of

The controversy over alleged illegal use of fetal tissue by the UNM Health Sciences Center continued at Thursday's Board of Regents meeting, where multiple members of the public commented on the issue. 

Last month, the HSC - along with the abortion clinic at Southwestern Women's Options - was criminally referred to the New Mexico Attorney General for investigation by a panel on the Energy and Commerce Committee, though HSC officials have continually denied the allegations brought forth against them. 

Some Albuquerque citizens aren't buying it. 

"As a taxpayer, I am demanding that there is more specific exposure with what is going on with the (disposal) of fetal tissue," Marcy May said, addressing UNM regents. "Stop hiding. Don't use one type of vocabulary and hide it with another." 

HSC Executive Vice Chancellor Richard Larson addressed the board at the meeting, reassuring the regents that the center follows all federal guidelines in place for the disposal of fetal tissue following terminated pregnancies. 

Larson explained that women who choose to undergo an abortion have an option to keep the fetal remains. If they elect not to, the remains are destroyed by an external company. 

The only material that is retained is DNA and RNA for study. The rest, he said, is disposed of, in accordance with federal statutes. 

This is a developing story. Check back with the Daily Lobo for more. 

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