Earlier this week we wrote about medical treatments that use stem cells derived from aborted fetal remains. Today we want to focus on vaccines that utilize similar methods.
In order to produce a vaccine, scientists must first propagate large quantities of the virus against which the vaccine will be used.
One way to propagate the virus is to allow it to spread throughout a tissue culture in a lab. While any number of types of tissue or cells can be used—including animal cells or yeast cultures—for many viruses, sometimes researchers choose to use cells derived from human beings—specifically aborted fetal remains.
From the 1960s to the 1980s cells from various aborted human fetuses were obtained by scientists for the purpose of medical research. Researchers kept the cells alive to be multiplied under laboratory conditions. As the cell cultures multiplied, they were made available to other scientists for research and development.
In the U.S., vaccines for measles and rubella; chickenpox; and shingles are all manufactured using cells derived from aborted fetal remains. Other vaccines may be manufactured using cells derived from aborted fetal remains, depending on the methods used by the vaccine’s producers.
A Brief History Lesson with PepsiCo
In 2011 and 2012 PepsiCo was at the center of a controversy over the use of aborted human remains in testing Pepsi products. The allegations were that the company with which PepsiCo contracted for research and development tested flavor enhancers using cells known as HEK-293.
“HEK-293” stands for “Human Embryonic Kidney 293.” It is a cell line obtained from the kidneys of a baby aborted in 1973.
USA Today released an article this week on stem cell therapies credited with helping two retired athletes recover from debilitating strokes.
According to the article, former NFL quarterback John Brodie and former NHL player Gordie Howe each sought treatment at clinics outside the U.S. The treatments they received involved the use of stem cells, and by all accounts, both men have recovered following the treatments.
Many have referred to the stem cells used in these stroke treatment as “adult stem cells.” There is a catch, however: Some of the “adult” stem cells actually were derived from aborted fetal remains.
Embryonic stem cell research is highly controversial—and rightly so. Embryonic stem cells—also known as pluripotent stem cells—can form into virtually any cell in the human body.
Theoretically, embryonic stem cells can be used to regrow cells or tissue missing in a person’s body. Some believe this could be used to treat or reverse permanent injuries, paralysis, and similar conditions, just to name a few. However, embryonic stem cell research requires doctors or scientists to create—and then kill—human embryos in order to harvest the embryos’ stem cells.
This amounts to murder of human beings—albeit very tiny human beings—in the name of science and medicine.
The following blog post is by Family Council staff member Deborah Beuerman.
Each spring there are thousands of commencement ceremonies all around the country, and thousands of addresses to graduates. One of the memorable ones this year was given by the actor Denzel Washington at Dillard University in New Orleans.
Mr. Washington offered four main points:
“Number one: Put God first in everything you do. Everything you think you see in me. Everything I’ve accomplished, everything thing you think I have – and I have a few things. Everything that I have is by the grace of God, understand that. It’s a gift. I didn’t always stick with him, but he stuck with me.”
“Number two: Fail big. . . . Do what you feel passionate about. Don’t be afraid to fail. . . . Have dreams, but have goals. . . . To achieve these goals you must apply discipline and consistency. . . Hard work works.”
“Number three: You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse. . . . You can’t take it with you. . . . It’s not how much you have, it’s what you do with what you have. . . . That’s where the joy is—in helping others. That’s where the success is–in helping others.”
“Finally, I pray that you put your slippers way under the bed tonight, so that when you wake up in the morning you have to get on your knees to reach them. And while you’re down there, say thank you. for grace, thank you for mercy, thank you for understanding, thank you for wisdom, thank you for parents, thank you for love, thank you for kindness, thank you for humility, thank you for peace, thank you for prosperity. Say thank you . . .
Mr. Washington intentionally made his speech short. You can watch his speech below.