By Will Hall, Message executive editor
NEW ORLEANS, La. (LBM) – “We need 100 percent ethical options,” Ben Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, is urging Louisianans to demand of elected officials regarding COVID-19 vaccines as well as common immunizations.
Clapper issued the plea in a statewide electronic message addressing the ethical concerns in the development and testing of vaccines now being distributed to inoculate citizens against the novel coronavirus that originated in China and since March 2020 has claimed nearly 400,000 lives across the United States, including nearly 8,000 Louisianans, as of January 12, 2021.
“Tragically, for years, biological research has used cell lines derived from the fetal tissue of a few aborted babies in the 1960s and 70s to produce and test drugs and vaccines,” Clapper said.
He added that the cells harvested from the aborted babies have been replicated indefinitely, and that no further abortions have been performed to procure these cells. But, he said, funding of research using the old abortion-derived cell line was allowed to continue.
“And because of that, we still face the issue of vaccines that have utilized the abortion-derived cell lines,” Clapper explained.
According to the National Review (Dec. 20):
— Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna used the aborted fetal cell lines to develop a vaccine. However, both used the abortion-derived cell line in a later testing phase to check the potency of their respective vaccines.
— AstraZeneca as well as Johnson & Johnson, who soon will be seeking approval of their vaccines, used the abortion-derived cell line in both the production of their vaccines and in testing them.
— Only one vaccine in the pipeline is known to be free of any ties whatsoever to embryonic stem cells. CureVac, a German biotech firm, has just begun Phase 3 clinical trials on a COVID-19 drug. However, at this time the company is focused only on the European market.
Clapper said the use of the abortion-related stem cell line “is not a new issue.”
“For years, the same questions have faced us with other vaccines,” he explained. “For example, the MMR + Chickenpox vaccine utilizes the abortion-derived cell lines in its production. There is still no alternative that does not use the cells, even though the pro-life movement has called for an option for years.”
“Vaccines are important and have noble goals in eradicating diseases and illnesses such as COVID-19,” Clapper continued. “But human life should never be sacrificed in that pursuit. For our part, we will continue to advocate for ethical research and against the use of biological materials derived from aborted children, whether in the past, present, or future.”
Clapper asked pro-life Louisianans to pray and “remember these little lives who bodies … were used as raw material in scientific research” and to take action to ensure “a future where vaccines have no connection to abortion.” He urged individuals to reach out to leaders and demand 100 percent ethical alternatives to the vaccines now being offered as well as an eventual end to the use of embryonic stem cells in making medicines.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, (202) 224-5824; Sen. John Kennedy, (202) 224-4623; Rep. Garret Graves, (202) 225-3901; Rep. Clay Higgins, (202) 225-2031; Rep. Mike Johnson, (202) 225-2777; Rep. Cedric Richmond, (202) 225-6636; Rep. Steve Scalise, (202) 225-3015.