Fighting the Fetal Tissue Research Industry with Dr. Stacy Trasancos

Crisis Point

Interview Transcript

The use of aborted babies in medical research is far more prevalent than most people realizeand Catholic leaders have been turning a blind eye to this evil for decades. What can be done to to stop these grisly practices? Dr. Stacy Trasancos, who holds a doctorate in chemistry and a M.A. in theology, has been investigating this industry for years and joins Crisis Point to discuss the issue.

Links:
• Children of God for Life
• Dr. Trasancos’s book “Particles of Faith: A Catholic Guide to Navigating Science
• St. Philip Institute

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Transcript:

Eric Sammons:

Hello and welcome to the Crisis Point Podcast. I’m Eric Sammons, your host, and the editor-in-chief of Crisis Magazine. Before we get started on today’s podcast, just want to remind people to like and subscribe to the channel. We’re on a whole bunch of places, YouTube, Odyssey, all the podcast feeds and what have you. So just like and subscribe, tell other people. We’ve grown a lot this year. We’re getting near the end of 2021. We’ve grown a lot this year. We started it up this year and we’re doing great in a lot of places. So we really appreciate that.

Today the topic is going to be, honestly, a bit disturbing. In fact, I didn’t think of this till just now, if you’re listening to this with young children, you might not want to, now that I think about it, because we’re going to be talking about fetal tissue research, and it’s a bit troubling, to be honest. Doing research just to interview our guest today, it was disturbing. But we’ve got to talk about it because this is a definite crisis, a definite issue we’re all facing. My guest though is Dr. Stacy Trasancos. I was practicing her last name.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Good job.

Eric Sammons:

Thank you. There we go. Was practicing her last name beforehand. She is the Director of Faith and Reason, Bishop Joseph Strickland’s St. Phillip Institute. She has a doctorate in chemistry, and I imagine she’s probably our first doctorate in chemistry we’ve had on this show. And an MA in dogmatic theology. We have a bunch of those. I’m one of those. We’re all MAs in theology at this point. She’s the author of Particles of Faith: A Catholic Guide To Navigating Science. Welcome to the program, Stacy.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Hello. Thanks for having me on. I’m a fan of your program and what you’re doing with Crisis Magazine, both.

Eric Sammons:

Thank you. Yeah. You wrote one of our most popular articles of the year for Crisis, related to this issue, more specifically on the vaccines, which we’ll get to in a little bit. But we want to talk more generally about fetal tissue research. I think before we even get started, why don’t you give us a definition of what that is and basically how it’s being used?

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Okay. Thank you for covering this topic. I could talk forever. I’m so glad to be able to do this. Fetal tissue research is research where they use the bodies of aborted children for medical and scientific research. A lot of us in the pro-life movement think of abortion and everything that… Think of it as two bubbles, everything that leads up to abortion, and we think we’re done. But there’s a whole industry that has grown up on the other side of abortion.

Supply and demand, it’s giving more reasons to do abortion, to use the bodies of these tiny children as, honestly, gold standard lab rats, because they’re better than rats or mice or monkeys. It’s a little tiny human body. There’s a lot of research going on using those bodies.

Eric Sammons:

This is something I think everybody probably listening to this program knows of course of the connection with the COVID vaccines. It’s often said, even in Vatican statements, it says that this happened decades ago, which I think gives the impression that this happened decades ago, but doesn’t still go on. So is this still going on today, and is it a common occurrence that we’re using research using fetal tissue?

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Yeah. It’s going on more than ever, and that’s what was so frustrating to me back when, in 2020 November, or 2020 about a year ago, when it started coming out that the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines were in the last of their trials and ready to be used. “Oh, they were just tested in fetal cell lines. Don’t worry about it. It was a one-time thing. It happened all these decades ago.”

I was literally screaming at home. I was like, “No, no,” because there is so much research going on in genetics, single-cell transcriptomics. I mean, they’re doing all kinds of research to understand how a zygote goes to a fully formed human being, using the bodies of these children. There is an industry that’s built up in selling these body parts. We’ve all heard about that. There are all kinds of research projects going on.

Catholics that were upset about using a vaccine that was tested on fetal cell lines, the day is probably already here, if not coming very soon, when any kind of medical advance that we benefit from will be based on research using aborted children.

Eric Sammons:

Wow. I mean, so it’s that prevalent? And there is absolutely no regulation on the use of aborted babies

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Well, there’s regulation and there’s regulation. There’s like ethics committees at universities who sit around the table and they say, “Do we agree it’s ethical to do this research?” And they say, “Yes, we do.” And so, in the scientific papers, it says, “This research was reviewed by the ethics review board at our institution and found to be ethical. I mean, these are people who are okay with abortion.

One thing I think Catholics, aren’t very good at, I’m a convert, they’re not very good at looking at the issue from the other person’s side, okay? If the whole world were just Catholics looking out and we could say, “Oh, we can use these vaccines. We can use these medical benefits, but we don’t support abortion,” I mean, maybe that doesn’t even pass common sense to my mind, but to the people on the outside who are okay with abortion, the minute we say that we’re benefiting from it, that’s all they needed to hear.

You never have moral authority any more after that, to tell them not to do this research, because you’ve already said, “By the time the benefit comes from this research, I’m just going to hold my nose and say, ‘I’m against abortion. You shouldn’t be doing that. But it’s okay if I benefit my health from it.'”

Eric Sammons:

Right now-

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

As long as they know that, we can’t protest it.

Eric Sammons:

Right. Exactly. We’ll get to that more in a minute, but what is the difference between… When we were reading about the COVID vaccines, they’re often mentioned how they’re developed from I think it’s the HEK293 line or something like that. The idea is that it was a baby who was aborted, it doesn’t matter when it was, but it happened a long time ago and then they just kept on developing it from that one aborted baby.

Can you explain, first of all, what that means? But then, also, how has that been different? Because it sounds like that’s not what’s going on in a lot of other situations. They actually have new aborted babies being used. That’s confusing, to be honest, to me and I think to a lot of people.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Yeah. The HEK293 is a very ubiquitous, prevalent cell line because it was successful. The researchers didn’t know it was going to be successful back in the day. Back in the ’70s or ’60s, I forget which, but the researchers, Van der Eb and Graham, were trying to create an immortal cell line. The stem cells reproduce very easily. They are capable of multiple reproductions. They haven’t differentiated yet into bone or muscle cells. They haven’t differentiated. They’re stem cells and they multiply easily.

Well, they were able to isolate some from a very young aborted child, and it turned out that those cells would multiply. And they’ve literally been multiplying for decades. They call them immortal. They’re not actually immortal. There is a point at which the cells will stop multiplying. So it’s not true that they’ll never need another cell line again. There are thousands of fetal cell lines that have been developed. That one happens to be very good.

Why do they need it in pharmaceutical research? Because those are human cells and they’re all the same. So you know what to expect in them. It’s like a consistent medium that you can test different pharmaceuticals then to see what they do to the cells or see if the virus multiplies in the cells or whatever. It’s like just having a bunch of consistent cells to test pharmaceuticals in or to grow pharmaceuticals in. HEK293 was just very successful.

Asking them to not use it now means they lose that consistency. But there are other cell lines that could be used. The researchers just don’t want to.

Eric Sammons:

So cell lines that aren’t from aborted babies?

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Yeah.

Eric Sammons:

Okay. Now-

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Animals, insects, plants.

Eric Sammons:

Okay. You sent me an article that you wrote before we got on and it’s disturbing, honestly. And you said this is all too common. There’s a connection. There’s aborted babies that are used. I guess there’s a connection between… You’re going to explain this way better than me, but the high level is that there’s a connection between down syndrome and developing leukemia. And so, the possibility of developing drugs that would help combat leukemia, it would make sense if you could do testing on down syndrome kids, it sounds like, just from a scientific, not ethical standpoint.

Of course, down syndrome babies, unborn babies, have a very high rate of abortion, mothers who conceive down kids with down syndrome. I think the abortion rate’s in the 90 something percent or something like that. But why don’t you explain how they’re using those babies, the process, I guess, from the beginning to the end, of the woman who gets pregnant, is told that her baby has down syndrome, to the point where they’re being used, and actually to the end point of a mother, many years in the future, potentially using a drug for her child’s leukemia, for example?

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Right. Yeah. Thank you for looking at the whole picture here. Here’s what happened. This doesn’t just happen in a couple of places in the United States. It happens anywhere there’s an abortion clinic close to a hospital, or close to a research center. The mother goes in to get an abortion. I’ve asked Abby Johnson before if this is true and she said, “Absolutely.” One of the things they tell the mothers is, “Good can come from your abortion. If you abort your child and you give consent,” so they do have to get consent from the mother, “If you consent to donate the body to science, there’s a lot of cures and understanding knowledge that can come from this.”

So they do use that as a coercion. The mother signs a form and gives consent for the child to be donated for scientific research. In some places like the University of Pittsburgh, there’s the McGee Women’s Hospital, which is right next to the university, they coordinate it. Like if the researchers say, “I need a second trimester fetus, and I need brains that are fresh,” or, “I need heart tissue,” or, “I need livers that are fresh,” they will coordinate it so that within a very short time after the child has been killed, they are harvesting the organs.

Honestly, Eric, there’s a missing explanation in there were a lot of people are saying, “Do you harvest the organs before the child’s even dead?” Because that could totally happen. It wouldn’t be legal. It wouldn’t be even in their minds ethical. But if you’re a researcher and you want the best possible tissue for the best possible experiment, fresh tissue is better.

Anyway, I have found, the paper that was in this article I just wrote for NCBC, they say in the paper that they harvested the organs within an hour after death. So they coordinate it.

Eric Sammons:

I mean, yeah. If it’s within an hour, it has to be coordinated.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Yeah.

Eric Sammons:

My goodness. So-

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Yeah. They put in an order, and when there are women who have babies in that age to abort, they coordinate their efforts and they get the tissue over. I hate talking about it. Then they go into the lab. Here’s where I have been reading scientific papers for years, my husband and I have, and we’ve been following it. They say in the scientific papers, and I always quote it. I even teach classes where I show people how to find this stuff.

If you look in the methods section of the scientific paper, where they describe what they did, scientists have to describe what they did, because if your research is repeatable, you have to give the details. And so, they describe everything from, they take the intestines, liver, leg bones, skin of the aborted children, dissected right after death. They preserve them in whatever chemicals overnight, or they freeze them.

They mince them with razorblades or put them in a blender because they’re trying to get the cells. They put the cells… They fix it into certain solutions if they’re trying to get to the genetics, and they just work it up like any other kind of material in the lab. I’ve read papers, and I’m not talking about long time ago. I’m talking about in the last year. I’ve read papers where they say in the material, the methods section, that they put the baby on the table, they put the fetus on the table and they measure the foot length because that’s how they determine the age.

They don’t know for sure how old the child is before abortion, but once they have the body there, they can measure the crown to rump length, like you do in a sonogram, or they can measure the foot length. They report that because that’s how they know the age of the child. They need to know the age for their research.

Eric Sammons:

What is the typical age of these children?

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Mostly second trimester. I’ve read this in a scientific paper too, and it’s in another one of my NCBC articles. They have a problem in the first trimester abortions because they can’t measure the foot length. They can’t measure the head to rump length because those are suctioned abortions.

Eric Sammons:

Right.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

They have two more guess at the age. They’ve even said that’s one reason they’re trying to grow embryos from in vitro fertilization in the lab because they can’t get at that window of gestation because the child gets torn up by the suction abortion and they have a hard time isolating tissues. So a lot of the research comes from second trimester abortions.

Eric Sammons:

It sounds like then that the abortion clinics, with this connection with hospitals, research hospitals, that they’re incentivized to do two things. They’re incentivized to delay the abortion a little bit, to delay it to a second trimester. Well, they’re obviously incentivized to commit abortions through just getting paid for it, but they’re getting paid on the other end as well. I assume they’re being paid by the research hospital for these babies, because I don’t think they just do it out of altruism. And so they’re getting paid on both ends.

It sounds like they’re… Particularly like in this case with the down syndrome children, they’re incentivized to abort a second trimester down syndrome child more than they would be, for example, first trimester healthy without down syndrome child. Just the idea of second trimester children, the inhumanity of them performing these… Like basically slicing and dicing them, is just unbelievable.

My wife had a second trimester miscarriage and I held the baby. I mean, the value of the baby, the dignity of the human babies from conception. We all understand that. I mean, it’s a baby. It looks like a baby. And then, you can’t convince yourself you could, maybe with like a six week old fetus or something, to act like, okay, this isn’t really human. We know it is, but you could maybe tell yourself that.

But at 17, 18 weeks, I mean, it looks just like a tiny little baby, is the way it looks like. And so, the fact that they would still cut this up and do research, it just… I mean, how’s this any different than Nazi Germany, I mean, frankly?

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

I don’t know. I don’t know how they do it. I don’t know how they do it and are okay with it. I mean, it seems to me like if you were okay with abortion, that would be the moment when you stopped being okay with abortion. But they do. How’s it different from Nazi Germany? Here’s how it’s different. Nazi Germany is in the past. It’s as if we lived in a culture where it was okay to exterminate Jews and it was happening every day and we’re just supposed to go on with our lives.

On top of that, insult to injury, they’re also promoting medical research using the dead bodies of these exterminated Jews. And on top of that, where Catholics were like, “Well, it’s okay to benefit from this research if there’s a grave need.” There’s remote cooperation in evil, and all the scholars were saying, “It’s okay. You’re not culpable if you use the… If you benefit from the medical research that comes from this practice, you’re not culpable. It’s not your fault. We don’t have any obligation as Catholics to do anything more than make a judicial judgment about whether we’re going to use this research or not.

I don’t know. I was saying to you before, it’s like the scholars are talking that way, but us regular people are like, “Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. There’s something not right here.”

Eric Sammons:

Right. Now let’s then segue into that. Let’s talk about Catholic teaching on this. Let’s talk about, first of all, just what has the church said on this issue? I know that the first instruction they gave was back in the 1980s, but there’s been a number of them since. Why don’t you just give us a review of what the Vatican has… I think mostly through the CDF, the Congregation of Doctrine of Faith is how this has come about. What have they said, just in general, about fetal tissue research?

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

I’m going to tell you something before I start. In my opinion, I have a master’s degree in theology, it’s not a PhD. But in my opinion, having looked at this for a long time, there is no clearly developed position from the church on fetal tissue research. And I’ll tell you why I’m saying that, because I think that’s what we need to get busy doing as common sense Catholics. We need to get busy developing this or helping clarify it.

The first place I always go is the Dignitas Personae, the instruction on respect for human life, the dignity of procreation from the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith. It does deal with the corpses, okay? In section four, deals with the corpses of human embryos and fetuses, whether they have been deliberately aborted or not must be respected just as the remains of other human beings. Okay. So there’s that.

In particular, they can’t be subjected to mutilation or to autopsies. Okay. But then, right after that, it says, “If their death has not yet been verified… Okay, if we’re talking about aborted child, they are dead, “And without consent of the parents or of the mother.” So what the church is talking about here is, if you have a stillborn child, the parents can donate that child to science. It was a natural death, and just like any other natural death of a child, the parents can consent.

But the church isn’t clear here about, what about a mother who aborted her child? This is just Stacy Trasancos talking. It would seem that that mother, in terminating her child, also terminated any rights she had to give consent for the child to be used for scientific research.

Eric Sammons:

Right, because you can’t really separate her decision to have the child killed with her decision to give it up for some type of scientific research.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

That’s what I think. I think what we have here, and again, it’s just Stacy Trasancos saying it, I think we have a situation where we have these aborted children are little bodies that no one has the legitimate right to give consent to be used for research. The only thing we can say as a church is these children need to be buried. At least do something to honor their dignity. They’ve been murdered. At least let’s bury them with respect.

That leaves us in the churches, looking at the rest of the world out there and saying, “Hey guys, this is about human dignity.” That seems such a weak argument today. To us it’s not. But we have a world that does that already doesn’t get human dignity, and we’re going to say, “Oh, you need to take those aborted children and treat them with dignity.” Somebody on the other side would say, “Well, we are. We’re using them for medical research.”

Eric Sammons:

Right. They say it’s for the common good.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

But what [crosstalk 00:21:43] the unwanted to cure the wanted. And that’s horrible.

Eric Sammons:

Right. I know there’s been some people who’ve tried to argue that some of these have come from miscarried, naturally miscarried babies. But obviously, if there’s research where they’re talking about them obtaining the baby an hour after, there’s no way a woman would naturally miscarry and somehow the medical facility would have the baby and performing experiments within an hour. That’s just not possible. I mean, like I said, my wife has had a number of miscarriages. That’s not possible.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

My husband can tell you, he had to peel me off the ceiling of our kitchen when a certain priest came out saying, “Oh, HEK293 might have come from a miscarriage.” I was like, “Are you kidding me?” If somebody asked the mommas who’ve had to deal with this, because the heartbreaking part about a miscarriage is it’s not like the doctor says, “Oh, hey, your baby’s going to die, and you’re going to deliver it that same day. And you can donate it to science,” you don’t know when the baby dies. By the time your body passes it, that child has been dead for a long time. That’s what’s so hard about a miscarriage.

Eric Sammons:

Right? Absolutely. And so, the church is saying, essentially, because of the fact that the church allows… For example, I could note to my family, “If I die, my body can be used for science.” That’s morally permissible for me to do this.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Yes.

Eric Sammons:

And so, the church is saying that it is morally permissible for a parent, in theory, to do the same thing with a child who dies. Let’s say, first of all, let’s say their five-year-old child dies of some rare disease, that the family could say, “Yes, you can use the body of this child for research.” Same with the stillborn child. Obviously, never obligated to do that, but a parent could do that.

And so, what you’re saying is the church has not made clear that distinction between an aborted child and a stillborn child or miscarried child or something like that. Correct?

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Yeah. That certain passage that I was reading, it skips over this question, and it goes right to, “Without the consent of the mother or parents.” And then it just says the next thing, “Furthermore, the moral requirements must be safeguarded, that there be no complicity in deliberate abortion, and that the risk of scandal be avoided.” It does say after that, “All commercial trafficking must be considered illicit.”

I think there’s enough there to say there is commercial trafficking going on, and that is illicit. There’s enough there to say that no one can give consent for the child to be used in research. And there’s enough there to say that the dignity needs to be honored. Here’s the thing. I certainly plan on pushing it next year, is one of the reasons I cut back my responsibilities at the St. Philip Institute. I’m going to push this. I think we might have Catholics out there, scholars, who are really close to saying that they’re okay with fetal tissue research.

Eric Sammons:

Oh, wow.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Because if they’re saying about HEK293, that it happened a long time ago, and it’s remote cooperation and evil, and that’s okay, the research going on right now with these aborted children, by the time that benefit gets to a family like yours or mine, they’ll always be able to say it’s just remote cooperation and evil. And so, I mean, remote cooperation and evil was meant to be an exceptional thing in grave need. It was never meant to be a perpetual excuse for accepting the evil, and that’s what we’re looking at.

I just want the scholars to say it. Like if you’re not going to fight it, if you’re not going to come right out right now and say that HEK293 is wrong to use it, just as wrong as it is to use an aborted child, and it’s wrong to use an aborted child, if they’re not going to say all that, then what are they saying?

Eric Sammons:

Right. We have a clear distinction here between two moral issues, first of all. The first moral issue is… And the church has been pretty clear about this, which is doing this type of research on an aborted baby is immoral. I mean, I think you would say that they should probably be a little better and make it a little more clear. But in general, I don’t think you can really read what the church has said about this and say that they’re saying it’s okay for a…

If I’m a Catholic researcher, I can’t use aborted babies for research of any kind. It’s just not possible. However, we also know that it’s happening, obviously. It’s happening a lot and we’re benefiting from it. I think I would be willing to bet you and I both, who both are… You’re way more knowledgeable than me, but we know about this stuff, we’ve both probably benefited from this in some way ourselves. I haven’t gotten the COVID vaccines, but it’s not just that.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Also unvaccinated.

Eric Sammons:

What’s that?

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Also unvaccinated.

Eric Sammons:

Yes, exactly. The few, the proud, vaccinated. You brought the second moral question, which is now that it’s already been developed. Let’s say I’m a Catholic dad. Let’s say, from this research they did on the down syndrome kids, they do find some drug that just works wonder for children with leukemia. Let’s just say that happens. I’m a Catholic dad. My kid has leukemia, and the hospital says, “Hey, we have this drug that’s going to make such a difference in the life of your kid.”

If I’m a loving father, my first thought isn’t, “Okay, well, how was it developed?” My first thought is, “I want to my help my kid out.” This is such a mess. What is the morality, first of all, of the dad to find out… But if he does know that it came from this, to use it, because, of course, we’ve heard that remote cooperation with evil so much, but it just doesn’t seem as clear cut as like, “Okay, it’s okay now because it exists,” because, to me, that seems hypocritical for the church to say, “You can’t do this fetal tissue research. However, you can benefit from it if it’s done.”

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Yeah.

Eric Sammons:

I don’t see how that adds up. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t even know what my question is at this point. But-

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

No. The question is, what do we do? And I don’t know, Eric, I don’t know. My husband and I talk about it all the time. Like, “What do we do?” Because what you just described, I mean, there is already genetic research that has come, just specifically, just one example, on leukemia, using down syndrome children, because they’re more susceptible to leukemia. They’re like a medical gift to those researchers. They can research it better with all those samples.

It’s already in a situation. It may not be the drug that you’re offered for your sick child. It may just be the knowledge about the genetics to provide treatment. It’s so far removed that unless you kept your nose in the scientific literature every day, you wouldn’t even know it. And honestly, I think we’re already there. Children of God for Life, my husband and I get a lot of questions about what’s in my medicine cabinet. Does this use fetal cell lines? We literally had an email, “My Skittles have fetal cell lines.”

Eric Sammons:

Wow.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

We’re like, “Okay.” But what we’re trying to move people past is stop asking about what’s in your medicine cabinet right now. We’ve got to get way back, like you were describing. We’ve got to get all the way back to where this happens in the first place and do something about it. I don’t know what we do. I feel like we conceded ground when the church said, “We’re okay with benefiting from it.” I mean, how do we do anything now?

Eric Sammons:

Right. I think one of the things that came up with the COVID vaccine debate was… I mean, people looked at what the Vatican had said about this stuff, and they always do say that Catholics should resist this industry, that we should fight against, we should oppose with every means possible. If I remember the language from the 2005 document, from the Pontifical Academy for Life, I think it says something like we should oppose in every means, in the media, whatever, this industry and do everything we can, yet, to my knowledge, nobody’s opposing it other than groups like yours, like Children of God for life-

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

[crosstalk 00:30:21].

Eric Sammons:

… and some people individually like you, and Crisis, we try to bring it up. But on a church level, like a Vatican level or some type of… I don’t see any opposition. Is there an opposition I’m not aware of?

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

No, we have people smiling and posing for the camera as they get the shot. There isn’t any organized… I’m only saying this because I’m hoping that we do. I don’t want to just sit here and criticize what other people are doing, because I believe there are people of good faith. I just don’t think they’re doing a very good job of looking at the issue from the other side.

Eric Sammons:

Right.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

I think that our choices right now, even the EPPC said, if we were making choices that led to more abortion in our culture, it would be wrong. And they say we’re not. But I think we are.

Eric Sammons:

Right. I mean, I don’t see how you could say otherwise, because I know… I was looking up something, a link, for this conversation. And it was like I saw all these headlines of where… Like USC Today has stuff, this is from back in December, just saying, “Vatican says it’s morally permissible to get the vaccines. The Catholic church says it’s okay. Pope Francis says it’s okay to get the vaccines. But not just okay to get vaccines, but it said is morally okay…

Basically, the way they said it was there’s nothing wrong with a vaccine that’s developed from aborted babies, because that’s what they’re hearing when we make our distinctions in morally permissible, remote cooperation with evil, all that stuff. What they’re hearing is there’s nothing wrong with an abortion tainted vaccine.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Yep.

Eric Sammons:

Yeah. Now I know there’s some debate among Catholics, good, solid pro-life Catholics, that some would say, yes, it is morally permissible to get, for example, the COVID vaccines, because of all the reasoning, remote cooperation with evil, whatnot. They’re saying we should oppose, we should do stuff, but it is morally permissible. So it’s not immoral. It’s not a sin to do it. But there are some, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s one of them, and I think maybe both Bishop Strickland, but I’m not 100% sure about him, who’s saying, “No, it’s actually immoral.”

Bishop Athanasius Schneider has said it’s immoral to receive it. His reasoning… Because when I interviewed him for this podcast a few months ago, Bishop Schneider said it’s because of the connection to the fetal industry. It’s because of the fact that you’re basically supporting an industry that is just widespread and doing horrific evil. And so, it’d be like supporting the Nazi regime in some way, during the Nazi regime. I mean, it’d be like that.

I’ll put you on the spot. Where would you fall on this spectrum of whether or not I as a Catholic, is it moral for me… I mean, I’m not receiving it, you’re not receiving it, but in general, would you tell, for example, a Catholic, let’s say Catholic, older person who actually does have danger from COVID, not like a healthy person like that, maybe has some morbidities or whatever, would you tell them that it’s actually immoral, a sin, to get the vaccine because of this connection?

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

No. It depends, okay, and I’ll explain that. We get calls like this all the time at Children of God for life. I mean, Children of God for Life has been on the internet since 2012. This year alone, we got as much traffic on the website as we did all the other years combined.

Eric Sammons:

I believe it. I believe it.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

[crosstalk 00:33:48]. Because people are asking us the very question you just asked. They’re not just asking it. They’re in tears. They are shaken up. These are fathers who are going to lose their jobs and won’t be able to support their family. These are grandparents who are forbidden to see their grandkids until they get the shot. These are lifelong, career medical professionals who are ready to walk out. We’re doing our best to help them get exemptions, working with them one one-on-one. But they ask us, “What should I do?”

What we tell them, and what is on our website, we wrote it out, “It’s not a sin if you are in a grave situation and you have a grave need, and there is no other alternative presented to you, because it’s not your fault. You’re backed into that corner.” But whether you take the vaccine or not, okay, so only you, other people can answer your own question based on your situation. I don’t have a grave need. I’m not taking the shot. I live in Texas. Nobody’s making me. I had the virus. I’m better. I’m okay.

But we tell people, if you decide that your situation is grave enough and you need to get the shot for whatever reason to keep your family safe, it’s not a sin. But we can’t stop there. See, that’s what people want to do. They want to make their decision and be done with it. Just like with childhood vaccines, when the children get older, you’re like, “Oh, I’m done with that issue now.” We can’t be done with the issue. Whether you take the vaccine or not, we all have to get in the game here and put an end to this, because this corner we’re backed into right now, that’s only the beginning.

Eric Sammons:

Right. That doesn’t even bring up the fact that the vaccines are part of a whole program like we see with the vaccine mandates where you can’t… And the vaccine passports. And so, even if you’ve been vaccinated, you have to oppose those other things. In fact, I would argue that no matter what, if you… There’s a restaurant, for example, that requires vaccination to get in. Even if you’re vaccinated, just refuse. I mean, you just don’t go there because you’re supporting something that is basically implementing something gravely evil.

Okay. Let me take a step back for a second. I was going to ask something else, but let me take a step back. Okay, let me ask, are there any organizations right now that are doing research without fetal tissue in these areas where fetal tissue is being used predominantly? Are there any organizations that are specifically saying, “We’re not going to use fetal tissue”? And are they finding any success in their research?

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

There are very small ones. I think you’ve probably heard about the John Paul II Medical Research Foundation with Alan Moy. We’re working with them. The problem with… Even if they get a whole bunch of funding, they’re going to be squashed by big pharma no matter what they do. But there are vaccines that are ethical just for the COVID. There’s one down in Mexico. I forget the names of it. My husband knows them, but over in France that are ethically produced. They keep getting squashed from getting to the market by Pfizer and bigger pharmaceutical companies.

So, yes, this research can be done. Yes, the church can support it. But unless that researcher has a path to market, like unless they sell their patent to a big pharma company, and unless all the Catholics make it clear that their bottom line’s going to be affected over the ethical issue, they’re not really going to be motivated to do it.

Eric Sammons:

Right. That last part is the if that never is happening.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Yeah.

Eric Sammons:

When you say Catholics are not. I mean, when we have a prominent priest, I’ll just name him, Father Matthew Schneider, who’s going about acting like these vaccines are the greatest things ever, these COVID abortion tainted ones. And he goes way beyond just saying, “Oh, it’s just morally permissible,” to saying, “We all need to get it,” how on earth, if I’m a non-Catholic, or even if I’m a Catholic who doesn’t really think these things, working at at Pfizer, I just hear money saying, “[inaudible 00:38:02],” because it sounds like nobody’s going to…

Because the number of people who are not getting the vaccine, I’m actually happy that there’s more than I would have thought. I mean, there are a number of us who aren’t. It’s great. One thing I wanted to just mention, because you’re connected to this too, is the Holy Faith Foundation, which is which you endorsed and Bishop Schneider inspired, which is helping people, who are not getting the vaccine, who are losing their jobs, giving them some financial assistance. We’ve been going through these to give out the grants.

There’s some powerful stories of people who are standing up. I mean, there’s a pharmacist, he basically was told… I won’t give all the details because I want to keep him anonymous. But he was a pharmacist who was told he had to get the vaccine in order to continue. He decided to not get the vaccine, but in doing so… And then, the company said, “Okay, actually, you don’t have to get it.” But because he did all this research, he decided, “I can’t give this vaccine out.” And so, he quit his job as a pharmacist because they’re like, “You have to give this vaccine out,” obviously. And he said, “No, I’m not going to.”

I’m amazed by that faith because he’s a father with kids, supporting them. And he’s basically, “I’m just going out in faith that things will work out.” But that’s an inspiring story. I’m very happy to hear there are people like that, doing that. But honestly, it’s a small number. It’s not enough that Pfizer’s noticing it.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

No, but you’re right. There are a lot of people doing that. We have so many stories too. I wanted to write articles for Crisis about the stories we get. There’s no time. They’re coming in too fast. But one thing, my husband, who’s a military man, is telling people, “Don’t ever resign over the issue. Make them fire you and make them put it in writing that they’re firing you because they’re forcing you to violate your conscience. Just make them write it down.” And a lot of companies back down as soon as you say that.

Eric Sammons:

Yeah, absolutely. I’ve been telling people that too. Do not resign over it. Do not resign. Make them fire you. Actually, one of the people, they sent me… I got an email they sent me that the human resources sent to them, where actually the person said, “You are not being terminated by us. You are terminating your employment by your own decision.” I mean, it’s this Orwellian language of, “We’re not terminating you, but you can’t work here anymore. But that’s your decision not to get the vaccine, so you’re terminating yourself.”

They’re trying to avoid saying, “We’re firing you because of your conscience.” But it’s unbelievable the twisting of language they will use. But that person just said, “Okay, well I can’t do it.” God bless him. What can we do practically? Let’s wrap it up here by just… I want to just say, we’ve talked a little bit about this, but if you’re just an average Catholic, let’s say your job’s not in jeopardy, and we’re talking about more than the COVID vaccines here, of course, what can the average Catholic do to try to resist the whole fetal tissue research industry?

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Right now, the thing that has to happen is awareness. I feel like that’s weak, but that’s what we’re doing at Children of God for Life, is just I’m trying to write about these… We’re hiring people to write, to get the story out about all the different research projects that are using these. I want to write a book and get it out there, just to raise awareness so people understand how pervasive fetal tissue research is in the medical community.

And then, what we have to start doing is find some way to protest it, because if enough of us band together, we can punch them in the face and make them stop doing that. We can make there be real consequences and it is going to take that. But that stand won’t happen until we raise enough awareness. We are telling people now, when they call and ask about a certain pharmaceutical, we’re like, “Look, it’s not the product, it’s the practice.”

It’s not going to be so easy just to clean out your medicine cabinet. You’ve got to get your heart in the game here and stand up for human dignity. It is a human dignity issue.

Eric Sammons:

Right. I know, for example, there’s some… I met a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and she’s working to protest what’s going on at the University of Pittsburgh. It’s university of Pittsburgh, right, yeah, that’s doing some horrific stuff. And that’s right in their backyard. Steubenville’s only about a half hour away from Pittsburgh. And so, they’re working. I think that’s the type of thing we need to support it as Catholics, are these efforts to really shine a light on specific organizations and medical facilities that are doing this? Because I think they like to stay quiet.

If we just say, “Okay, all this stuff is bad.” That’s one thing. But if we say, “University of Pittsburgh is doing evil stuff,” and we let University of Pittsburgh donors know this, and people in the community know this, hopefully, that can shed a little bit of light as well. Okay. Children of God for Life, that’s a great organization. People should find out about that. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes, but tell us again, what’s the website address of Children of God for Life?

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Yeah. It’s cogforlife.org.

Eric Sammons:

cogforlife.org.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

So COG for Children of God, F-O-R life.org.

Eric Sammons:

Right. Also, you wrote that the article we were talking about for the National Catholic Bioethics Center, and they’ve been pretty strong on this, right? I mean, they’ve been doing a good job of holding the line on this. I get a feeling they may not quite as much as Children of God for Life, but-

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Yeah. We’ve been working with them very closely. I think there are even different opinions in CBC. At first, I was disappointed that they didn’t take a stronger stand. They were too ready to say, “Pfizer and Moderna are okay because they were just tested in aborted fetal cell lines. But they changed that-

Eric Sammons:

Right. I noticed that.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

… and we’re all learning. We’re all trying to figure out things as we go. And it’s happening fast.

Eric Sammons:

Yeah. This stuff is very confusing. I give a lot of people pass for like, you learn over time, because I had the same vibe, from just my following it, is that they started off a little bit weak, but then they’ve gotten stronger, which is good to hear. Well, good. Good. Okay. Well, I encourage everybody. I’ll put links to all these places in the show notes. Encourage people to find out about that, figure out ways they can resist. I really appreciate you being on the program today. I honestly hate talking about this stuff, but…

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

Me too.

Eric Sammons:

I’m sure you do too, but we have to.

Dr. Stacy Trasancos:

I’m glad you did. No, thank you very much for talking about this.

Eric Sammons:

Okay, great. Okay, everybody. Until next time then, God love you.

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