Michael Brown on Regeneron, Trump and the Alleged Hypocrisy of the Pro-Life Movement

(Unsplash/ Maria Oswalt)

Have you heard the latest? President Trump cannot be pro-life since he used to and is promoting the anti-COVID drug Regeneron, which was allegedly developed with the help of fetal tissue. And pro-life organizations are being hypocritical by refusing to condemn the drug. Is there any truth to these charges?

As reported by the UK Metro, “Trump faces hypocrisy allegations after it was revealed Regeneron is made from stem cells originally taken from an embryonic kidney. That kidney was taken during an elective abortion performed in the Netherlands during the 1970s.”

More bluntly, the MIT Technology Review claimed, “Trump’s antibody treatment was tested using cells originally derived from an abortion.

“The Trump administration has looked to curtail research with fetal cells. But when it was life or death for the president, no one objected.”

As for pro-life organizations, a lengthy headline on Business Insider stated, “Anti-abortion groups say they stand behind Trump’s use of a drug tested on cells derived from an aborted fetus because the president ‘was not involved with that abortion.'”

How should pro-life Trump voters respond to these concerns?

Let’s say that Regeneron was actually developed with the help of fetal tissue. Does anyone actually think that doctors came to Trump and said, “Mr. President, we have an experimental drug that was tested and developed using tissue from an aborted baby from the 1970s. How do you feel about using this?”

Only the most hardened anti-Trumper could imagine such a scenario. In the world of reality, the very thought of it is absurd. And, even if the fetal tissue charges are true, who knew about this? Was this something that any of the doctors would have been aware of? I very seriously doubt it, especially when, as we shall see, Regeneron itself denies the charge.

It is therefore completely ridiculous to claim that Trump is being hypocritical in using Regeneron, as if he knew the alleged history of the drug.

But that leads us back to the big question: Did Regeneron use fetal tissue from a baby aborted in the 1970s?

Another headline on Business Insider stated, “One of Trump’s COVID-19 treatments was developed using tissue that originally came from an abortion. He’s tried to ban this kind of research.”

This is being widely reported as established fact. But is it true?

In an official statement for the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute, David Prentice, Ph.D. and Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D., wrote:

The Regeneron therapy given to the president was made in Velocimmune humanized mice, a novel platform that uses genetically modified mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells to generate antibodies described here and here. Development of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail is detailed in the journal Science, describing how they identified their antibodies made from Velocimmune mice and blood from recovered patients previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. The final antibody pair used in the REGN-COV2 therapy cocktail was then produced in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Results from Regeneron’s REGN-COV2 clinical trials to treat COVID-19 patients are reported here.

Mouse embryonic stem cells and genetic modifications to make such mice date back to 1981, have been extensively studied, and were instrumental in the discovery of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, another fully ethical alternative to fetal material, as discussed in thisNature review. iPSCs are much easier to use than human embryonic stem cells, more flexible in their uses and are not ethically controversial. No one has ever advocated against using mouse embryonic stem cells for development of therapies— only against destruction of human lives.

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SOURCE: Charisma News

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