No Need for Aborted Fetal Tissue to Study Zika Nor to Make Zika Vaccine

Another clear example of the lack of need for freshly aborted fetal tissue in virus and vaccine studies are the recent reports on the susceptibility of developing human brain cells to Zika virus.

Scientists from Florida State, Emory, and Johns Hopkins developed a successful model system to show that the Zika virus can infect and damage some developing brain cells.[1] The established experimental model, which the authors of the paper note can now be used for further investigations of developing brain as well as screening therapeutic compounds, was not developed using fetal tissue.

The successful system uses human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells); these iPS cells are ethically created from skin or other normal cell types, and earned the 2012 Nobel Prize for Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, their originator.

Another recent study by a Brazilian group confirms the susceptibility of developing human brain cells to Zika virus infection, with potential damage to infected brain cells. Again, the successful study did not use human fetal tissue, but rather human iPS cells.[2]

No current vaccines are made using fresh aborted fetal tissue. A few vaccines are made using old cell lines that were derived from two abortions; the cell lines were created in the 1960’s and 1970’s (the cell lines are called WI-38 and MRC-5).

Fresh aborted fetal tissue has not been used to make vaccines for decades. Reliance on aborted fetal cells is an antiquated science. In addition, the CDC and other leading medical authorities have noted since 2001 that “No new fetal tissue is needed to produce cell lines to make these vaccines, now or in the future.”[3]

Modern vaccine development does not rely on fetal tissue or human fetal cell lines. Another example of this is the recent success of a field test of a vaccine against Dengue virus, a close relative of Zika.[4] The vaccine provided 100% protection,[5] but was developed using monkey cells and a mosquito cell line.[6]


[1] Tang H et al., Zika Virus Infects Human Cortical Neural Progenitors and Attenuates Their Growth, Cell Stem Cell 18, 2016; in press, doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2016.02.016

[2] Garcez PP et al., Zika virus impairs growth in human neurospheres and brain organoids, PeerJ Preprints 4:e1817v3; doi: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.1817v3

[3] See, e.g., “Vaccine Ingredients – Fetal Tissues,” The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 2014; accessed July 21, 2015 at; CDC quote originally accessed July 2015 at:

[4] Kirkpatrick BD et al., The live attenuated dengue vaccine TV003 elicits complete protection against dengue in a human challenge model, Sci. Transl. Med. 8, 330ra36, 2016.

[5] Check Hayden E, Dengue vaccine aces trailblazing trial, Nature, 16 March 2016, doi: 10.1038/nature.2016.19576

[6] Men R et al., Dengue Type 4 Virus Mutants Containing Deletions in the 39 Noncoding Region of the RNA Genome: Analysis of Growth Restriction in Cell Culture and Altered Viremia Pattern and Immunogenicity in Rhesus Monkeys, J. Virology 70, 3930, 1996; and Medina F et al., Dengue Virus: Isolation, Propagation, Quantification, and Storage, Current Protocols in Microbiology 15D.2.1-15D.2.24, November 2012

MO House and Senate Take Action on Pro-Life Bills

Missouri Right to Life
Press Release

For Immediate Release
April 14, 2016

For Information:
Statewide:  573-635-5110

The following statement can be attributed to Steve Rupp, President of Missouri Right to Life:

Today the Missouri House third read and passed HB 2069 & 2371 by a vote of 120 in support to 34 opposed. HB 2069 & 2371 will place in statute accountability for abortion clinics in their disposition and tracking of the bodies of babies killed through abortion. This bill also increases information and reporting requirements in future inspections of abortion clinics.

While those who support abortion have made their attacks on the producer of the videos that were released last summer by the Center for Medical Progress, they fail to acknowledge the fact that the prosecutor harassing this pro-life producer has strong ties to the abortion industry and specifically to Planned Parenthood. These videos have been proven to be substantially unedited or dubbed. These videos give clear examples that fetal tissue is being sold for high profit by personnel from Planned Parenthood and that the abortion clinic in St. Louis was a possible market to tap into.

Investigations by the Missouri House and Senate have determined that the State Department of Health, under the administration of pro-abortion Governor Jay Nixon, has no idea how baby body parts were being disposed of or if state law regulating pathology testing were being carried out.

HB 2069 & 2371 was written and passed by the House today in response to the lack of oversight from the Missouri Department of Health over Planned Parenthood and the Pathology lab they used at that time. HB 2069 & 2371 now moves to the Senate for debate and passage.

Also today, the Missouri Senate gave final approval on resolutions SR 1793 & SR 1794, addressing subpoenas issued to Planned Parenthood and the Pathology Lab Director to appear before the Missouri Senate on Monday, April 25. These subpoenas were issued because the Senate had requested information from Planned Parenthood and the Pathology lab that has, to date, not been received.

Missouri Right to Life thanks all the House members who voted for HB 2069 & 2371 and have been working to support this effort. We also thank the Senate for seeking more information from Planned Parenthood.

We call upon the Missouri Senate to take up and pass HB 2069 & 2371 to give the weight of law to accountability for final disposition of aborted baby body parts. We ask the Senate to send HB 2069 & 2371 to the desk of Governor Nixon.

Action Alert: Emails and Calls Needed!

The Senate Leadership needs to hear from you now!

Senator Ron Richard, President Pro-Tem of the Senate: (573) 751-2173 or email
Senator Mike Kehoe, Senate Majority Floor Leader: (573) 751-2076 or email
Senator Bob Onder, Assistant Majority Floor Leader: (573) 751-1282 or email

Please email and/or call each Senator and:

1.  Thank the Senate for their work investigating Planned Parenthood and the Pathology Lab.

2.  Ask the senate to pass the resolutions to affirm the right of the senate to seek information regarding the disposal of baby body parts: SR 1793 and SR 1794.

3.  And most importantly make it clear that pro-lifers want legislation for annual abortion clinic inspections and accountability to ensure that baby body parts from abortions are not being sold for research: SB 644 and/or HB2069 & 2371.

Thank you!  We need the support and action of the super majority Republicans!

Statement from Sen. Blunt on Supreme Court Nominee

Missouri Right to Life supports Sen. Blunt’s position to not vote on any U.S. Supreme Court nominee until after the Presidential election in November.  We are very grateful to his strong support for pro-life efforts to restore the sanctity of life to all innocent and vulnerable people.

Please see Senator Blunt’s statement below.

“I want to thank Missouri Right to Life and National Right to Life for standing with me in opposition to the confirmation of President Obama’s nomination to the Supreme Court.  On Wednesday this week, I made clear that I will not be meeting with the nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, because he shouldn’t be confirmed.

This is a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. My view is that we are too close to a historic election to confirm this nomination, and the American people should have a say.  So many of the issues you and I care about hang in the balance.

Just this year, the justices will consider two critical cases impacting the right to life and religious freedom:  Zubik v. Burwell, on the Little Sisters of the Poor’s case against the HHS mandate, and Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, on abortion clinic regulations in Texas, a case that could be one of the most important pro-life cases at the court since Planned Parenthood v. Casey.  I was proud to join amicus briefs in support of both of these crucial cases.

Whether it be the right to life, religious freedom, or any other constitutional issue, the next Supreme Court nomination could be the deciding vote on these questions.  In accordance with its duty to provide “advice and consent” to the President’s nomination, the Senate has decided that it will not take up the Garland nomination.  The Constitution sets this process up as a 50-50 obligation, a two-part puzzle that has to come together before a confirmation happens.

The American people spoke when they elected a Republican-led Senate as a check-and-balance to the president, and they should have the opportunity to be heard again before a new justice is confirmed.”

Every Human Life Has Value

easter-2016“Paul Says that we were “bought at a price” (1 Cor 6:20a NIV). All that Jesus did from His conception onward was part of that price. Paul reminds the Ephesian pastors of the magnitude of this price when he tells them, “Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood” (Acts 20:28b NIV).

God did not purchase us with the blood of a man or the blood of some holy martyr. God purchased us with His own blood in the person of Jesus! The price paid for sinful humanity was high.

The value it gives to human life is incalculable. Not every human being knows this, of course, and it is the task of the Church to share this message. But the fact remains, Jesus’ life and death and resurrection give value to all human life.  Every human being is created and redeemed.”

-From “Created – Redeemed – Called” by Rev. Dr. James I Lamb, former executive director of Lutherans for Life

Happy Easter, from Missouri Right to Life
Let’s Make Sure All People Know The Value of Their Lives!

Missouri House Sends to the Senate “Two Custodial Parent Notification Bill” Prior to a Minor Having an Abortion

The House gave final approval last week, with bi-partisan support, to send HB 1370 to the Senate. HB 1370 would require both custodial parents of a minor to be informed prior to a minor getting an abortion. Current law requires the consent of one parent prior to an abortion on a minor.  HB 1370 would expand on this law.

HB 1370 is sponsored by Rep. Rocky Miller, R-Lake Ozark. Miller said the real reason he sponsored this bill is because of the situation he found himself in with his daughter. He told the House that his ex-wife had informed him when his teenage daughter was considering getting an abortion, and this gave him a chance to be a part of this decision. In the end, Miller said his daughter did not get the abortion, and he and his wife raised the child as their own.

“I don’t want to stop anything, I want to start something,” Miller said. “I want to start a conversation among caring parents, and that’s what this bill will do.”

Susan Klein, Legislative Liaison for Missouri Right to Life stated, “Parents have a protectable interest in the life, health and well-being of their child. Abortion has multiple risks and all parents should be informed of an impending abortion on their child. In today’s times when young people, still under age and on their parents’ insurance, are pulled many different directions by family issues, parental notification is essential to all parents in the protection of their child’s health.”

Missouri Right to Life supports HB 1370 and encourages the Senate to take up and pass this common sense legislation.

Click here for the full legislative update and information on all the bills we are keeping an eye on.

Senator Blunt, Others Sign Amicus Brief in Pro-Life Case at U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt on Wednesday, March 2.

Senator Blunt was one of 34 senators that signed on to an amicus brief urging the Court to uphold the Texas abortion clinic law in question, H.B. 2.
The brief argued that courts should give deference to legislatures when making decisions about the best interests of health and safety of patients.

MO Representatives Vicky Hartzler, Sam Graves, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer and Ann Wagner also signed the brief.

Texas’s H.B. 2 – like Missouri’s current law – requires a physician performing an abortion to have admitting privileges at a hospital within thirty miles of the location where the abortion is performed and requires abortion clinics to comply with the State’s standards for ambulatory (i.e., outpatient) surgical centers.

You can read a copy of the amicus brief here.

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