If you’ve been on any form of social media over the past few weeks, you’ve most likely seen videos of people being doused by large buckets of ice water, often with the assistance of their all-too-willing family members and friends. The videos are both hilarious and inspiring.
Last night I was watching a preseason NFL game, and they took time during the broadcast to show footage of various commentators, players, and coaches being drenched in cold water and then challenging other people to do the same.
Celebrities, politicians, sports figures, policemen, firefighters, pastors, priests, and thousands of other people are engaging in what is becoming one of the most successful nonprofit, viral fundraising campaigns in modern history — the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but it’s more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It is a fatal condition and impacts some 30,000 Americans at any given time.
The success of the Ice Bucket Challenge has been amazing. The ALS Association reports it has raised over $15.6 million dollars in donations as of August 18th, compared to $1.8 million during that same time period last year. This social media campaign continues to pick up steam, so The ALS Association could reap unprecedented dollars and new donors in the coming weeks and months. America continues to show that it is the most compassionate, most generous population on the planet.
I desperately want a cure for ALS to be found. From what I understand, the suffering, pain, and degenerative nature of the disease are horrible. It wreaks havoc on its victims and their families across the country.
What most people don’t realize, however, is that The ALS Association supports and is currently engaged in embryonic stem cell research. In other words, they support the practice of killing unborn embryos for medical research.
The ALS Association website states, “Adult stem cell research is important and should be done alongside embryonic stem cell research as both will provide valuable insights. Only through exploration of all types of stem cell research will scientists find the most efficient and effective ways to treat diseases.”
Our friends at American Life League contacted The ALS Association to inquire if they are currently engaged in embryonic stem cell research. They replied,
The ALS Association primarily funds adult stem cell research. Currently, The Association is funding one study using embryonic stem cells (ESC), and the stem cell line was established many years ago under ethical guidelines set by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS); this research is funded by one specific donor who is committed to this area of research. In fact, donors may stipulate that their funds not be invested in this study or any stem cell project. Under very strict guidelines, The Association may fund embryonic stem cell research in the future.
Make no mistake; embryonic stem cell research is simply abortion by another name.
In the process of extracting cells from an embryo’s body for medical research purposes, the embryo is killed. That means our increasingly utilitarian society allows the killing of helpless, voiceless members of the human race in order to perform medical research that will supposedly cure its more developed members.
Those of us who recognize that all life is sacred — regardless of size, location, level of development, or degree of dependency — must vehemently object to killing human embryos for any reason, including medical research.
Plus, no significant progress or cure has been found by using embryonic stem cells, whereas substantial progress has been made with adult stem cells (which involves no killing of human beings). And yet, even if there had been progress in the research using embryonic stem cells, here at Human Coalition we’d argue that the killing of one human being to improve the medical prognosis of another human being is a morally indefensible position.
Now, before the flood of angry emails hit my desk, let me assert one more time — I want researchers to find a cure for ALS. I’m not saying we shouldn’t work ardently to cure ALS, MS, cancer, and other debilitating diseases. To do so at the expense of other innocent, voiceless human beings, however, is morally indefensible. It is using abortion as a tool to supposedly further a humanistic, utilitarian agenda.
Before you douse yourself in cold water, consider contacting the ALS Association urging them to discontinue their embryonic stem cell research program and their support of the practice in general. As an organization committed to improving the quality of life of those victims suffering from ALS, they should also be committed to protecting every other member of the human race, including the unborn.