The Ice Bucket Challenge has been the biggest viral-charity sensation of the year, and maybe ever — reaching its cold, wet arms all the way to George W. Bush and Anna Wintour, and raising millions of dollars for ALS research along with providing an immaculate blooper reel.
But one group is not pleased by all your Facebook videos: anti-abortion activists, who are mad that the ALS Association gives money to a group that supports stem-cell research.
“Attention pro-lifers: be careful where you send your ALS Ice Bucket Challenge donation,” blared a headline on LifeNews.com earlier this week. The article explained that the ALS Association, one of the charities receiving ice-bucket donations, gave $500,000 last year to the Northeast ALS Consortium, which in turn had been affiliated with a clinical trial that used “stem cells … engineered from the spinal cord of a single fetus electively aborted after eight weeks of gestation. The tissue was obtained with the mother’s consent.”
“Of course the fetus, from whom the ‘tissue’ was taken, did not ‘give consent,’” LifeNews.com wrote. “So if you give to the ALS Association your money may end up supporting clinical trials that use aborted fetal cells.”
Following the report, the Cincinnati Archdiocese warned Catholic school principals not to send donations to the ALS Association, and some anti-abortion activists have begun making their own “pro-life Ice Bucket Challenge” videos.
CBN News, the Christian TV channel that broadcasts Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, put a video of its Ice Bucket Challenge on Facebook, but not without informing its audience that the donations from the challenge would go to “an organization that does not support or use embryonic stem cell research.”
Meanwhile, a 2013 FDA-approved study using human stem cells resulted in slowing the progression of ALS to an “extraordinary” degree.