Pro-life groups freeze out Ice Bucket Challenge for moral reasons

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken social media by storm, but some pro-life groups are beginning withdraw their support for moral reasons.

Over $50 million in donations have poured in since the viral dare, and other charities have been positively affected by the success. Despite the positive results, various pro-life organizations are urging participants to donate with caution. As it turns out, some of the funds support embryonic stem cell research, the Daily Signal reports.

In a statement to the Daily Signal, ALS Association spokeswoman Carrie Munk said that embryonic stem cell research is not the organization’s primary research method. They currently use adult stem cells for all research projects minus one, but she assured them that the lack of transparency of their research methods is “certainly not intentional.”

ALS Association statement:

Currently, the association is funding one study using embryonic stem cells, 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.

Archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “We appreciate the compassion that has caused so many people to engage in this. But it’s a well-established moral principle that a good end is not enough. The means to that ends must be morally licit.”

Catholics have advised participants to donate with caution. Instead of donating to the ALS Association, many people are donating to organizations that refrain from the use of embryonic stem cell research. These include the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center, the Mayo Clinic­, John Paul II Medical Research Institute and the Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC.

Hannah Bleau


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