NIH deserves a pro-life director, say lawmakers
NIH is currently headed by Dr. Francis Collins, who was appointed to the post by former President Barack Obama in 2009. Now, 41 self-described “staunchly pro-life” members of Congress have signed off on a letter to President Trump calling for Collins – a professed Christian – to be replaced because of his stance on certain life issues.
“… [The] stances that Dr. Collins has taken in the past, regarding embryonic stem-cell research and human cloning, are not life-affirming and directly conflict with the pro-life direction of your new presidency,” states the May 22 letter to the president. “It is because of this troubling paradox that we ask you to re-consider his leadership role at NIH.”
OneNewsNow spoke with Dr. David Prentice, vice president and research director at the Charlotte Lozier Institute. He applauds the members of Congress who are encouraging Trump to make the change. And like the Capitol Hill lawmakers, Prentice is familiar with, and critical of, what Collins has supported: embryonic stem-cell research.
“And we’ve got to keep in mind that that involves the deliberate destruction of a young human being to get those embryonic stem cells,” Prentice shares.
Mostly under Collins’ leadership, more than a billion federal tax dollars so far have been used for the research – with no documented treatments or cures for medical conditions. At the same time, Prentice points out, Collins has largely ignored adult stem-cell research, which has successfully treated over a million and a half people for various conditions.
And there’s more to be concerned about, says Prentice. “Dr. Collins is in favor of human cloning,” he explains. “He doesn’t really believe that a human clone, even as an embryo, has any right to life. Dr. Collins has also been in favor of human/animal chimeras, [which are] sort of part-human, part-animal mixtures.”
The signers of the letter to the president are also critical of Collins’ support for what they describe as the “clone and kill process.”
Prentice argues that a good pro-life leader at NIH could change the flow of funding – and instead of wasting it on unethical research, put the money into life-affirming and life-healing research with adult stem cells, and drop funding for aborted fetal tissue research, also a failure.
In 2009, Christian ministry leader Chuck Colson (Prison Fellowship, BreakPoint) wholeheartedly endorsed Collins’ appointment to direct the NIH – but also took exception to the religious scientist’s support for “certain kinds” of embryonic stem-cell research.
Last December, several top Republicans asked Trump to retain Collins, saying he “is the right person, at the right time” to continue to lead the NIH.