By Emily Zender -
We've all seen it.
The ice bucket challenge has gone viral around social media.
Once nominated by a friend via Facebook, you video yourself dumping a bucket of ice water on your head in an effort to raise awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Then you donate.
Everyone from Bill Gates and Jimmy Fallon to the Kennedy family and Illinois' own state politicians have participated in the ALS ice bucket challenge.
Harmless right? Not so fast.
First, this fundraising effort is absolutely brilliant. We entirely support people raising awareness for ALS and for charities in general.
Organizations such as Illinois Right to Life wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the generosity of our donors.
However, pro-lifers beware of The ALS Association.
While The ALS Association does a vast amount of research - some of it very good and moral - they admit to conducting research using embryonic stem cells from aborted children:
"Adult stem cell research is important and should be done alongside embryonic stem cell research as both will provide valuable insights. Only through exploration of all types of stem cell research will scientists find the most efficient and effective ways to treat diseases."
So when the ice bucket challenge catches you - and it will eventually - join in the fun! Help raise awareness for ALS! But make a note in the video as to why you are donating to a different organization than The ALS Association.
We did some quick research and one suggested alternative for your donation is The John Paul II Medical Research Institute which states:
"More than 300 institutes and organizations engage in and support human embryonic stem cell research. The John Paul II Medical Research Institute advocates for medical research that recognizes the dignity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death."
We're not here to rain on your ice bucket bath. We encourage it.
But you deserve to know where your money is going. If we create a society dependent on embryonic stem cell research, we will be supporting a society that sees the death of a child through abortion as a necessary good to cure other people.
And that surely doesn't respect the value of all human life from natural conception through natural death.
Emily Zender is Executive Director of Illinois Right to Life