Science and ethics experts are weighing in on the prospect of cells from aborted babies being used for a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Trump administration last year barred research using aborted babies from receiving federal funding, but because of the ongoing pandemic, some scientists want the National Institute of Health to rescind that policy for research on a coronavirus vaccine.
Dr. R. J. Snell, a fellow with the Culture of Life Foundation, describes the research as untoward.
"If we have procured fetal remains through direct and intentional abortions, and abortion itself is morally wrong, then we can't cooperate with abortions by using the remains that are procured from an abortion," he reasons.
Meanwhile, adults provide advance permission for the medical profession to use their remains for research.
"The difference here is, of course, there can't be any consent from a child or from a fetus," Snell points out. "They can't offer consent. So even with consent, there are limits of what we would do in experimentation. But as we rightly say, one can will one's body for some limited experiments, but there's no consent to obtain from a child or an unborn child."
But should ethics be pushed aside in light of the pandemic?
"Even in an emergency situation, we're still voluntary agents; ethics still apply," Snell contends. "We're not allowed to do whatever we need just because we're afraid."
The more promising vaccine ideas do not use cell lines from aborted babies.