Here’s Which Coronavirus Vaccines are Developed Using Cells From Aborted Babies

Bioethics   |   Mary Margaret Olohan   |   Dec 3, 2020   |   6:59PM   |   Washington, DC

The pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute has released information on which coronavirus vaccines have been made using cells obtained from aborted babies.

The Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) released a new chart Thursday examining whether eight leading COVID vaccines were either produced or tested using cells obtained through abortions. The institute’s analysis found that most of the vaccine candidates did not use cell lines derived from abortions in their production, though several used abortion-derived cell lines in laboratory testing.

The potential that the much anticipated vaccines would use cells from aborted babies poses weighty moral problems for many Americans who object to abortion.

Religious leaders such as Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas said earlier this year that he would refuse the vaccine if “we use body parts of aborted children,” saying, “I will not kill children to live.”

“Unfortunately, some vaccine developers have unnecessarily put American families in a difficult position by choosing to use controversial human fetal cell lines in production or testing, or by a lack of transparency,” CLI said in a statement. “Many developers already opt to use animal cell lines, non-fetal human cells, yeast, or chicken eggs instead.”

“We urge all developers to avail themselves of these options going forward,” the institute’s statement continued. “Doing so will reduce vaccine hesitancy for those who oppose the use of fetal cell lines, thereby increasing the public health impact of the vaccine.”

CLI evaluated vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Sanofi/GSK, Inovio, and Merck.

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Both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson use abortion-derived cell lines in development, production, and lab testing, the analysis found.

Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Novavax, and Inovio use abortion-derived cells in some tests but do not use abortion-derived cells in other tests, the analysis found. These four do not use abortion-derived cell lines in development or production of the vaccine, the analysis found.

The analysis could not determine whether Sanofi/GSK and Merck used the abortion-derived cell lines in lab testing, but noted that  Sanofi/GSK and Merck do not use abortion-derived cell lines in development or production of the vaccine.

“It remains to be seen which vaccines will be approved for emergency use and how soon they will be available to patients,” CLI said in the statement. “CLI will continue to provide the public with access to timely and accurate information so that individuals and families can weigh all factors – including secular science and religious traditions – and make vaccine decisions in line with their conscience.”

CLI Vice President Dr. David Prentice explained to the Daily Caller News Foundation that when abortion-derived cell lines are used in the production of a vaccine, that means the cells are “directly involved in making the final product, the vaccine that is injected in our arms.”

“It is an essential element for the final vaccine,” Prentice said of abortion-derived cell lines used in the production of a vaccine. “Although the connection is distant both in time and space, since the abortion occurred decades ago and the cells have been grown in the lab ever since, that connection to abortion remains and is of concern to many Americans. ”

Laboratory testing using abortion-derived cell lines is potentially less morally problematic, since it is “anther step removed” Prentice said.

“When an abortion-derived cell line is used in laboratory testing, that is not done within the production line,” he explained. “It’s a confirmatory test done on the final vaccine, to validate what the scientists believe they’ve produced.”

“So this is another step removed, and there was nothing touching the abortion-derived cell line that ended up in the final vaccine product, or in our arms,” he continued. “For some, it doesn’t completely remove the concern. It is important to note that there are testing methods that can be done with cells not derived from abortion.”

Prentice emphasized that CLI hopes to see developers using these methods going forward, adding that “doing so will reduce vaccine hesitancy for those who oppose the use of fetal cell lines, thereby increasing the public health impact of the vaccine.”

LifeNews Note: Mary Margaret Olohan writes for Daily Caller. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience.