Catholic Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas has not been timid about speaking out against the evils of abortion and those who support it.
“Just because the crime of abortion is considered legal in our nation does not mean it is morally permissible to use the dead bodies of these children to cure a global pandemic,” he wrote. “Emphatically, this practice is evil.”
The bishop said, until recently, he did not realize how pervasive this evil practice had become, even though scientists have ethical alternatives available.
“I urge you to join me, NOW, in passionately but prayerfully speaking out against this practice,” Strickland wrote.
Earlier this week, LifeNews reported how at least two companies are using cell lines created from the cells of aborted babies to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Leading U.S. Catholic bishops responded to the news with a letter urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure vaccines are being produced ethically.
Strickland echoed their call, urging pro-lifers to contact legislators and insist that they end the “illegal and immoral nature of any use of the remains of aborted babies for research.”
“Further, we must insist that pharmaceutical companies comply with such legislation,” he continued. “I believe this can be a significant building block in a culture of life which eliminates the taint of economic gain that too easily infects the abortion industry.”
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The Texas bishop said he researched the matter and spoke with scientists about the situation before writing.
“Scientists I’ve spoken with assure me that there is no medical necessity for using aborted children in order to develop the much-needed vaccine to protect us from this particular strain of Coronavirus,” he wrote. “Thankfully, ethical means are available and can prove to be just as effective in developing vaccines; umbilical cells, placental cells, adult stem cells and other sources of cells, including even those of insects, provide completely viable paths to an effective vaccine.”
Pro-life leaders also have highlighted how 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.
Strickland implored families to demand ethically-produced vaccines. As Dr. Stacy Trasancos, executive director of the St. Philip Institute, told the Church Militant, “Bishop Strickland is asking us all, the entire human race, to stand up with him and say, ‘I will not kill children to live.’”
Strickland has been a strong voice for life in America. In 2019, he also supported calls to excommunicate New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other so-called Catholic politicians after they passed a radical pro-abortion bill into law.
Abortion activists have been trying to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis by pushing for abortion funding in government spending bills, the de-regulation of abortion drugs, and research using aborted baby body parts. In March, 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.
National Review reports pro-life lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate both sent letters to the Trump administration telling leaders to stand firm in their commitment to defund the unethical research.
“In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, complaints against your decision to halt funding of aborted fetal tissue research has reached a crescendo,” the House letter states. “These critical litanies, however, repeat false claims and narratives which for many years have touted the utility of aborted fetal tissue in research …”
Recently, 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.