Scientists Should Not Use Aborted Baby Parts for Coronavirus Research

Bioethics   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 23, 2020   |   4:30PM   |   Washington, DC

More than 50 pro-life leaders urged President Donald Trump this week to remain committed to his restrictions on aborted baby body parts in taxpayer-funded research as abortion activists demand that he lift the restrictions for coronavirus research.

“As the country grapples with the coronavirus crisis, it is critical that the Trump administration maintain its commitment to protecting life at all stages,” they said in a memo published Monday by the Conservative Action Project. “This is especially true when it comes to attempts by the Left to take advantage of this vulnerable moment for Americans to push abortion policies.”

Abortion activists have been trying to take advantage of the crisis by pushing for abortion funding in government spending bills, the de-regulation of abortion drugs, and research using aborted baby body parts. Last week, the Washington Post 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.

But in the memo this week, pro-life leaders said there is no need to end the regulation.

“Research into a coronavirus vaccine is of the utmost importance, but must be scientifically focused,” they said. “… numerous, ethical alternatives exist, including the use of adult stem cells. In at least one small clinical trial, adult stem cells helped improve conditions of patients with serious coronavirus complications. Several more are on-going.

Last week, the Charlotte Lozier Institute noted that at least 60 potential treatments for the virus are being investigated right now using materials that do not come from aborted babies.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also assured Americans last 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.”

Pro-life leaders praised the Trump administration for banning taxpayer-funded research using aborted baby body parts last year and urged the nation’s leader to remain committed to promoting ethical alternatives.

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“Vaccine research and efficient response in a pandemic of this nature is paramount. But so is the commitment to human life at every stage,” they stated. “Treatment should not be at any cost, certainly not when it comes to a disregard for human life. We urge the administration to remain committed to its bold policies to protect life at all stages.”

More than 50 pro-life leaders signed the memo, including Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, Thomas Fitton of Judicial Watch, Michael Farris of Alliance Defending Freedom, Catherine Glenn Foster of Americans United for Life, Rebekah Gantner of the Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund, and Dr. James Dobson of the James Dobson Family Institute.

Though there is no vaccine or proven treatment for the coronavirus yet, health leaders are devoting huge amounts of time and resources into finding one.

Here’s more from Breitbart:

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.

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.

According to Melanie Israel at The Daily Signal:

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.