Pro-Life Group Stresses Abortion-Based Vaccine Alternatives After Vatican Rules

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 15, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Group Stresses Abortion-Based Vaccine Alternatives After Vatican Rules

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 15
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — After the Catholic Church issued a new document last week saying parents can allow their children to be vaccinated with drugs created based on research using cells from babies who are victims of abortion, one pro-life group is stressing the alternatives that the Vatican also promoted.

The instructions released last week, the Dignitatis Personae, reaffirmed Catholic pro-life teachings on bioethics issues such as human cloning, stem cell research and in-vitro fertilization.

The Vatican said parents can use the vaccines in conditions of "grave reasons" and "dangers to the health of children," but it stressed the absolute duty to oppose the vaccines and demand that healthcare systems make alternatives available.

Debi Vinnedge, the director of Children of God for Life, a pro-life group in the U.S. that monitors vaccines and their link to abortion, says she is happy the Vatican encouraged parents and researchers to look into life-affirming alternatives.

"Dignitatis Personae acknowledges that previous standards by some ethics committees have not been ‘sufficient’ and the Holy See has taken steps to assist both parents who vaccinate their children and researchers who use aborted fetal or embryonic material," she told

Vinnedge says the Vatican unambiguously noted the duty of researchers "to refuse to use such ‘biological material’ even when there is no close connection between the researcher and the actions of those who… performed the abortion."

She told that one company is leading the way in finding alternative vaccines that aren’t made based on research employing cells from aborted babies.

Dr. Theresa Deisher, the CEO of AVM Biotechnology, a biotech company pursuing such morally positive vaccines, talked about her firm’s research and said she was pleased with the Vatican’s push for alternatives.

"We are absolutely thrilled with the recent Vatican teaching," she said. "Unfortunately, the use of morally illicit material in scientific research is so pervasive that pro-life scientists truly need to commit to morally licit research and drug development."

Vinnedge told that pro-life advocates need to get involved with AVM as it moved ahead on abortion-based vaccine alternatives even before the Catholic Church urged their pursuit.

"We pray that Catholic healthcare facilities, our bishops, our families and pro-life benefactors will stand firmly behind their work and provide the resources and support they need to answer the Church’s calling," she said.

Related web sites:
Children of God for Life –

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