Dozens of research projects are under way to find treatments for the coronavirus and none of them rely on aborted baby parts.
At least 60 potential treatments for the virus are being investigated right now using materials that do not come from aborted babies, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, a research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List.
“Those who advocate experimentation using body parts harvested from aborted children are shamelessly exploiting the coronavirus pandemic, playing on people’s fears at a vulnerable time so that a select few can continue to use aborted fetal tissue in their research,” the research organization said, responding to claims in a Washington Post article earlier this week.
The newspaper highlighted complaints from anonymous scientists claiming research on the coronavirus is being hindered by new restrictions from the Trump administration on the use of aborted baby body parts in taxpayer-funded research.
The Charlotte Lozier Institute dismissed the claims as “dishonest,” saying scientists have successful, ethical alternatives for research that do not require a baby to be killed in an abortion.
“This seems an example of not letting a serious crisis go to waste, another attempt to justify the horrific practice of trafficking in aborted baby body parts,” said Dr. David Prentice, a biologist and advisor to the research institute. “In the meantime, there are numerous ethical alternatives, including already a first successful use of adult stem cells to treat patients with serious coronavirus pneumonia, as well as mice made from ethical sources that can be used to test and even produce antibodies and other possible therapies for coronavirus.”
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Dr. John Brehany, director of institutional relations at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, agreed, telling the Catholic News Agency there is no reason to abandon the ethical standard.
“People are working on other ways of curing the sickness brought on by this virus,” Brehany said. “There are some ideas out there.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services assured Americans this week that the Trump administration “has activated a whole-of-government, whole-of-America approach to prepare for and respond to COVID-19.” HHS said these actions include “kick-starting the development of vaccines and therapeutics through every possible avenue.”
In fact, on Thursday, President Donald Trump said his administration would make the malaria drug chloroquine available “almost immediately” to treat the infection caused by the coronavirus.
Studies are showing chloroquine can both prevent and treat coronavirus in the cells of primates, but it is not yet FDA-approved for COVID-19.
The FDA will make the drug available under the “compassionate use” program until it undergoes a clinical trial.
As of Friday, health officials confirmed more than 14,000 cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and more than 10,000 deaths across the world, according to CNA.
Though there is no vaccine or proven treatment yet, health leaders are devoting huge amounts of time and resources into finding one.
Ethical alternatives to tissue from aborted babies are available, including pluripotent stem cells and tissue from placentas, umbilical cords and amniotic fluid. In 2018, the Trump administration created a $20 million grant to invest in these ethical research alternatives.
Additionally, some scientists say research using aborted baby body parts has not been successful.
Proponents of fetal tissue research claim that it has led to advancements such as creating the polio vaccine, while omitting important details about the difference between historic fetal cell lines (which do not require ongoing abortions) and fresh fetal tissue (which does require ongoing abortions).
The original polio vaccines used monkey tissue and fetal cell lines. No current vaccines are made with fresh fetal tissue.
Moreover, fetal tissue transplantation has been unsuccessfully used in attempts to treat ailments ranging from anemia to diabetes to Parkinson’s disease. Attempts to transplant fetal stem cells also have been unsuccessful.