Beauty salons fuel trade in aborted babies
by Tom Parfitt in Kiev
Aborted foetuses from girls and young women are being exported from Ukraine for use in illegal beauty treatments costing thousands of pounds, The Observer can reveal.
It is thought that women in the former Soviet republic are being paid £100 a time to persuade them to have abortions and allow their foetuses to be used in treatments. Most of the foetuses are sold in Russia for up to £5,000 each. Some are paid extra to have abortions late in their pregnancy.
Border guards stopped a train entering Russia from Ukraine last week and arrested a 'mule' carrying 25 frozen foetuses hidden in two vacuum flasks. The man said he had bought them from a medical research centre.
Ukrainian law allows an aborted human foetus to be passed to research institutes if the woman involved consents and her anonymity is protected. But police say staff at state health institutions are selling them to private clinics offering illegal therapy.
'It is extremely difficult to detect this because there are corrupt agreements between respected doctors and academics,' said one senior officer.
Beauty salons in Moscow that buy the aborted material to provide 'foetal therapy' are flourishing, despite a Russian ban on all commercial treatments using human cells other than bone marrow. The salons offer injections of stem cells, the undivided cells present in embryos that can adapt into any kind of tissue, although they are still at the trial stage worldwide.
Monday, April 18, 2005
This is horrible...