MICAIAH BILGER MAR 4, 2021 | 10:56AM WASHINGTON, DC
Monsignor Gregory Gordon of Las Vegas, Nevada, also expressed “moral concerns” about the use of cell lines created from aborted babies in the new vaccine, NBC 3 News reports.
“Vaccines should be ethically made, where there’s no link at all to cell lines from aborted fetuses,” Gordon said in a statement. “If one has a choice, it’s better to choose those vaccines that are less linked to what we would consider to be a moral evil.”
According to research by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, Johnson & Johnson used cell lines created from aborted babies in the design and development, production and confirmatory lab tests to create the vaccine. No cells from aborted babies are in the actual vaccine.
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Fetal cell lines are cells taken from an aborted baby and multiplied in a lab “into many cells of the same kind,” the research group explained. “These can be grown indefinitely and further multiplied, creating lines of cells that are sometimes used for science experiments.”
In the case of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the cell line was created from a baby who was aborted in 1985, the Spokesman-Review reports.
Many also have advised against the vaccine from AstraZeneca because it also used a cell line created from an aborted baby’s kidney in development, production and testing.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine “is morally unacceptable, especially in light of better vaccine options,” Bishop Michael Sheridan of the Diocese of Colorado Springs said in a statement. “While the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines performed some tests on aborted fetal cells, they are both morally permissible based on their more remote cooperation with the evil of abortion.”
All currently available COVID-19 vaccines have some connection to aborted babies – some more than others. The Charlotte Lozier Institute identified several that are being developed ethically without cell lines derived from aborted babies, but they are not available yet.
Pro-lifers and religious leaders have conflicting opinions about the coronavirus vaccines.
In the case of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, cell lines created from an aborted baby were used in “the animal-phase testing,” but they were not used in the development or production of the vaccines. Because the connection to abortion is small, many say the vaccines are acceptable, especially when no alternative is available. However, others argue that any connection to abortion, even a remote one, makes a vaccine unethical.
Vaccines can be and are produced with ethical materials, including pluripotent stem cells and tissue from placentas, umbilical cords and amniotic fluid. In 2018, the Trump administration created a $20 million grant to invest in these ethical research alternatives.
Last year, the Charlotte Lozier Institute identified 17 research groups that were conducting ethical coronavirus vaccine experiments while five that were not. The five using cell lines created from aborted babies in their research include the University of Oxford (AstraZeneca), Johnson & Johnson and the University of Pittsburgh.