House and Senate Republicans urged the Trump administration to maintain its pro-life policies amid the Democrat push to ease restrictions on both the use of aborted fetal tissue to create a vaccine for the coronavirus and on drug-induced, at-home abortions.
Letters from GOP members of Congress and national pro-life leaders to the White House and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week asserted Democrats are attempting to exploit the coronavirus pandemic for the purpose of advancing their party’s pro-abortion agenda.
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) tweeted in a video message he had joined 35 other senators in urging President Donald Trump to “keep up his strong support for pro-life policies, even during this coronavirus crisis”:
President @realDonaldTrump has been a bold advocate for life.
This week I joined 35 other senators urging him to stand strong against those who want to exploit the #coronavirus crisis.
— Senator Roger Wicker (@SenatorWicker) April 15, 2020
Wicker explained Republican senators wrote to the president in response to a letter sent by 15 Democrat attorneys general from around the country, asking Trump to ease restrictions on the use of aborted fetal tissue for research on coronavirus vaccines.
“Our scientists have proved that there are many better ways to get more accurate research and better results using research that doesn’t involve use of abortions and the taking of an innocent human life,” the senator added.
Wicker and his fellow senators wrote to the president about the Democrats pro-abortion agenda:
These attempts to exploit the current crisis faced by our nation undermine your leadership and the promising research that is already underway. In reality, holding the line ethically gives us the ability to put resources toward better science that is already showing promise against the coronavirus. Therefore, we urge you to stand strong in rejecting these appeals for taxpayer dollars to be used for the practice of using aborted babies in experiments.
A list of the U.S. senators who co-signed Wicker’s letter can be found at his website.
In the House, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) also launched a letter with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), GOP Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Pro-Life Caucus Chairman Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) that urges the president to maintain his strong pro-life policies against Democrats’ attempts to use the current pandemic to advance their party’s pro-abortion platform.
Glad to lead this effort for life. During this crisis, the last thing anyone should do is try and advance the left’s radical abortion agenda. I am thankful for @realDonaldTrump leadership in this crucial time.https://t.co/wfNrxokFHe
— Rep. Doug Lamborn (@RepDLamborn) April 17, 2020
Lamborn said in a statement:
During this crisis, the last thing anyone should do is try and advance the left’s radical abortion agenda. Life is precious at all stages and any claim to the contrary is unconscionable. We will find a cure for the current Coronavirus, but using tissue from aborted babies to do so is unethical and wrong. I’m thankful that President Trump has taken such a strong stand for life, and I’m confident a solution can be found while also maintaining the sanctity of life.
Significant research has been done that proves aborted fetal tissue is not necessary for the development of vaccines.
In a statement sent to Breitbart News, Dr. Tara Sander Lee at the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the research arm of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said, “President Trump took decisive action in June of last year to curtail HHS funding of fetal tissue research using aborted baby body parts.”
This decision paved the way for the funding of research that does not rely on the needless destruction of unborn human life. Ensuring taxpayer dollars are invested in research methods that are scientifically proven to be effective, rather than unethical and ineffective, was a huge victory for life and science. We expect the President’s policy to continue to be implemented across federally funded research projects.
House Democrats, including Reps. Jan Schakowsky (IL), Jared Huffman (CA), and Diana DeGette (CO), sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on April 6, urging Secretary Alex Azar to waive restrictions on research using aborted fetal tissue for vaccine research.
The Democrats wrote to Azar:
You have repeatedly stated that your agency is doing everything you can to develop vaccines and treatments for the novel coronavirus. However, in June 2019 your agency banned all intramural research using human fetal tissue and placed new restrictions on extramural research, including review by an ethics panel that still has yet to be set up. As a result, scientists at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and across the country have been stopped from pursuing promising biomedical research into conditions and diseases that affect millions because it involves the use of human fetal tissue—including coronavirus research.
Another bicameral letter initiated by Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) and Rep. Robert Latta (R-OH) urged Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the FDA, to maintain regulations on drug-induced abortions. Planned Parenthood, for example, has recently touted the organization has ramped up at-home abortions with its new “telehealth” service.
With hospitals pushed to their limits by #COVID19, we should minimize, not increase, unrelated pressures on health care providers. @boblatta & I lead an effort to urge @SteveFDA not to let up on REMS abortion drugs restrictions during the crisis. https://t.co/jSUpCIz5jc @SBAList pic.twitter.com/yk3mxJW2P7
— U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (@SenHydeSmith) April 14, 2020
One Planned Parenthood official in New York State said the organization’s new telehealth program is so much in demand that one mother began her drug-induced abortion “at home with her children running around behind her.”
Dr. Meera Shah, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, told the Associated Press (AP) the abortion chain is seeing “an uptick in patients seeking abortions” during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We provided a medication abortion to an EMT while she was sitting in her ambulance,” Shah said. “We provided abortion care to a mother who was at home with her children running around behind her.”
The letter, signed by 38 U.S. senators and 121 members of the House, urged the FDA to maintain its regulations in order to protect women from predatory abortion providers:
As you may know, the New York Times editorial board and others have called for making medication abortion more widely accessible with far less oversight – via an overturning of the REMS [Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy] and an expansion of the stage of pregnancy at which Mifeprex may be prescribed. These demands are both reckless and dangerous. The FDA should stand confidently for the protection of women.
A coalition of pro-life leaders has also sent a letter to Hahn, urging that his agency continue support for ethical vaccine research that eliminates an incentive for more abortions.
In a statement about the coalition’s effort, pro-life leader Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said: “The abortion industry’s attempts to increase its profits by advocating for the use of the bodies of aborted infants must be stopped, and our government needs to control how research is advanced.”
“We all want a treatment for the coronavirus, and we need to work toward a humanely developed vaccine,” she added. “Life-saving efforts must be built on an ethical foundation.”