Catholic Medical Association Wants Vaccines Not Using Cells From Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 16, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Medical Association Wants Vaccines Not Using Cells From Abortions Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 16, 2006

Washington, DC ( — The Catholic Medical Association and other pro-life advocates are calling for companies to produce new vaccines that do not use cells from babies who have been aborted. The call comes after a vaccine with such cells was used in Iowa to treat a recent outbreak of the mumps.

Part of the vaccine used in Iowa (MMR) to treat the outbreak derived from tissue obtained from abortion, and there is no alternative available for that component in the U.S, according to CMA.

That the vaccine relies on killing babies before birth to cure others is causing problems for pro-life residents in Iowa.

"The concerns raised in Iowa show that this is a real issue for many people," explains Robert Saxer, CMA’s executive vice president. "Pharmaceutical companies and the FDA have a responsibility to address these concerns and provide vaccines that can be used by all."

But the mumps vaccine is not the only one that relies on cells from aborted babies.

Vaccines that have been derived from cell lines originally prepared from tissue taken from voluntarily aborted babies include those for rubella, Hepatitis A, as well as others.

"The bottom line is that vaccines derived from abortions should mainly be avoided and used only when alternatives are unavailable," Saxer said. "But there is really no reason why those alternatives should be unavailable."

"The pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the vaccines have the ability and know-how to produce versions of these vaccines which do not depend on cell lines from aborted fetuses," he explained. "They should be pressured to develop those vaccines to meet the health needs of those who have religious and ethical objections to abortion."

Saxer also called on the FDA to allow for the licensing and importation of safe and effective ethical alternative vaccines such as Takahashi (rubella) and Aimmugen (Hepatitis A).

Richard Doerflinger, a pro-life spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, agrees with Saxer’s concerns.

He said the nation’s Catholic bishops will work with CMA and other pro-life groups to help make alternative vaccines readily available.

"In this way we can ensure that concerned Catholics and other pro-life Americans will not confront the dilemma of having to accept a vaccine based on morally illicit sources, or risk compromising the health of themselves and others," Doerflinger said.

Related web sites:
Catholic Medical Association –