Claims Questioned On Vaccines Using Cells From Abortion Leading to Autism

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 26, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Claims Questioned On Vaccines Using Cells From Abortion Leading to Autism

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 26
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Claims from a pro-life organization and pro-life blogger who say a new study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency shows a correlation between the use of cells from babies in abortions in vaccines to an increase in autism rates, are drawing questions and criticism.

The study, published in February in the publication Environmental Science & Technology, confirms 1988 as a “change point” in the rise of Autism Disorder rate.

The 1988 date is significant because that’s when the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices added a second dose of the MMR vaccine, containing fetal cells from aborted babies, to its recommendations.

The study found two other change point dates: 1981, two years after MMRII was approved in the United States with fetal cells, and 1995, when the Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute says the chickenpox vaccine using aborted cells was approved.

That led Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League, and pro-life blogger Jill Stanek to suggest there is a link between the use of fetal cells from abortions in vaccines and autism.

But the study’s author, Mike McDonald, and others, question that claim.

McDonald responded to an email from the Opposing Views web site, responded to the question and said the claims "incorrectly represent, and far overreach, our study findings."

"Our study draws no causal linkages with anything and the recent increase in autistic disorder, and certainly not to the use of fetal tissues in vaccines," he said. "Without additional screening approaches there are potentially a huge number of possible exogenous factors and explanations that could be associated with autism."

He concluded that, "in no case is a correlation with any of these things, including with the timing of the change point, with some other occurrence any indication of causation."

The claims also came under fire from pro-life advocates.

Rev. Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, an Assistant Professor of Biology at Providence College, told the study "suggests a link between exogenous environmental stressors and autism" but "does not say that this stressor was the vaccine."

"For example, another scientific study has suggested that it is the Tylenol that was given to babies after their vaccinations that may have led to their autism, and not the vaccines themselves. Tylenol replaced aspirin as the drug of choice given to babies after their shots in the early 1980’s just when incidence of autism increased," Austriaco said.

"Numerous studies have failed to uncover a link between vaccines and autism," he added.

"It is not surprising that the original paper published in Lancet that initially suggested a link between the two has since been retracted as flawed and erroneous. There is no credible scientific evidence that links vaccines and autism. Parents should be encouraged to have their children vaccinated, a great good for the preservation of the common good," he told

SCPI will present their studies at the International Society for Autism Research in May 2010.

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