Feds discover preserved fetuses at body broker’s warehouse

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At a Detroit warehouse, federal agents discovered four preserved fetuses belonging to a body broker, someone who specializes in selling human body parts.

The fetuses were originally discovered during a December 2013 raid of businessman Arthur Rathburn’s warehouse and were submerged in a brown liquid that included human brain tissue. Based on photos acquired by Reuters, the fetuses appear to have been in their second trimester

Rathburn, who was arrested, is pleading not guilty and his trial is set for January. How Rathburn acquired the fetuses and what he intended to do with them is unclear.

“This needs to be reviewed,” said U.S. Representative Marsha Blackburn, the Republican from Tennessee who recently chaired a special U.S. House committee on the use of fetal tissue. While the buying and selling of body parts is legal and virtually unregulated in America, trading in fetal tissue violates U.S. law.

“The actions depicted in these photos are an insult to human dignity,” said U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

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