Alabama’s Challenge, by Kristan HawkinsMay 20, 2019
I’ve Had 2 Abortions. Here’s Why I Support Alabama’s Pro-Life Law. by Leslie DeanMay 20, 2019
By Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director, Children of God for Life, May 20, 2019
When articles like What does the Catholic Church teach about vaccines, Washington D.C., May 6, 2019 / 04:28 pm (CNA) appear in what is supposed to be valid Catholic news, mass confusion abounds and false information becomes viral on social media and worse, in the chanceries of some dioceses. In an email to Catholic News Agency dated May 10, 2009 we asked they correct their errors and publish the truth. Since they have not responded, we will because it is important that the facts are reported.
So, let’s look at the glaring errors the unnamed author of the article puts out. The problems begin with their statement that, “One reason that some people decline the measles vaccine in particular has to do with the fact that it was developed from cell lines descending from aborted fetal tissue.” (1)
This is completely false. It is rubella, not measles that is currently produced using aborted fetal material in both the virus, known as RA273 and in the cell line WI-38 which is used to cultivate the virus. The rubella vaccine is combined with measles and mumps in the MMR.
As for the measles outbreaks, it is no different now than in 2014 with the Disney outbreak’s 667 cases and now. In both situations, one needs to put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Merck, the sole producer of MMR in the United States and not the parents who are exercising religious exemptions.
Because until 2009, Merck provided the separate vaccines for measles (Attenuvax) and mumps (Mumpsvax) which are morally produced using chicken eggs. Despite massive public outcry, Merck refused to continue supplying separate vaccines, stating it was not profitable to do so. This when their own financial records showed over $10 million in sales for the separate doses that year.
So exactly what do those symbolic letters and numbers RA273 and WI-38 in the MMR vaccine actually stand for? Let’s decipher what was really going on.
During the rubella epidemic of 1964, doctors in Philadelphia began advising pregnant women who contracted rubella to abort their babies due to fear of Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) which can affect the unborn child. The aborted babies were immediately sent to the science labs of Dr. Stanley Plotkin who isolated the virus RA273, translated as: R=Rubella, A=Abortion, 27=27th aborted baby, 3=3rd tissue explanted that contained the live rubella virus. (2)
And although he had successfully isolated the virus that would eventually be used in the rubella vaccine on the market today, it didn’t stop there. In subsequent research papers Dr. Plotkin noted another 40 aborted babies were dissected to obtain further virus samples. (3) This means there were at least 67 babies electively aborted just to obtain the virus for the rubella vaccine. And what about that WI-38 cell line used to culture the virus? Dr. Leonard Hayflick graphically describes his research and the aborted babies that were shipped from Sweden to his labs at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia in several research papers. (4, 5) WI-38 translates as Wistar Institute, specimen number 38.
Before perfecting his work there were 32 elective abortions to produce the WI-38 cell line. In six of the abortions, multiple organs were dissected and numbered, hence the difference between the number of abortions (32) and the WI-38 designation. That’s 99 elective abortions for the rubella vaccine alone.
Compare this to what the author of the article stated – that there were “two abortions performed in 1960s from which the cells lines were developed”. Unfortunately, this is probably one of the biggest falsehoods that has been propagated on an unsuspecting American public for decades!
In addition, there are several more cell lines from hundreds more abortions that are used in vaccines and medicines such as MRC-5, (6) WI-26 and WI-44, (7) IMR-90, (8) IMR-91, (9) HEK-293, (10) Lambda hE.1, (11) PER C6, (12) and in 2015, WALVAX 2. (13) This baby was chosen from 9 abortions in China as they were trying to replicate WI-38 and MRC-5 cell lines for their own vaccines. Like IMR-90 and IMR-91, scientists deliberately chose to use aborted babies that would match the gestation age and tissue type (lung tissue) to replace the cell lines which were depleting. They could have chosen a moral cell line as Japan did, but they chose not to do so.
If that was not bad enough, the horror goes much deeper as described in the article Forsaking God for the Sake of Science. Exposed are the forced sterilizations and forced abortions that took place in the early 1900’s under the Eugenic Sterilization Act, during which noted polio scientists describe their research using aborted babies. (14)
In just one such research paper, Drs. Thicke, Duncan, Wood and Rhodes graphically describe their work: “Human embryos of two and one-half to five months gestation were obtained from the gynaecological department of the Toronto General Hospital. They were placed in a sterile container and promptly transported to the virus laboratory of the adjacent Hospital for Sick Children. No macerated specimens were used and in many of the embryos the heart was still beating at the time of receipt in the virus laboratory.” (15)
Deplorable, despicable and completely unnecessary because in all research documents from 1936 -1964, from polio to rubella, scientists noted there were several other moral sources that could be used as well.
Continuing with the problems in the May 6th article, the author states that “none of these cells are in the vaccines themselves”, but this too is completely false. All one has to do is read the manufacturer’s own package insert under “Ingredients” or “Description”. For example, the Varivax (chickenpox) vaccine literature clearly states, “The product also contains residual components of MRC-5 cells including DNA and protein.” (16)
Next, the writer lays out the misleading claim that the Pontifical Academy for Life “has concluded that it is both morally permissible and morally responsible for Catholics to use these vaccines”. That is a bit deceitful because the 2005 document from the PAFL, Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared From Cells Derived From Aborted Human Foetuses, goes much deeper than that. The Academy expressed the right of parents to use or abstain from aborted fetal vaccines “if it can be done without causing children, and indirectly the population as a whole, to undergo significant risks to their health. However, if the latter are exposed to considerable dangers to their health, vaccines with moral problems pertaining to them may also be used on a temporary basis. The moral reason is that the duty to avoid passive material cooperation is not obligatory if there is grave inconvenience.” The central concern in their document was for pregnant women and the possible transmission of rubella to her unborn child. (17)
So let’s look at the situation in the US where according to the CDC, rubella has been eliminated since 2002 with less than 10 cases per year, none of which were native and all were self-contained, meaning no one else was infected. (18) Women are tested for rubella immunity at their first prenatal checkup and if they are not immune, Immune Globulin (IG) may be used to prevent rubella. IG is not harmful to the woman or her unborn child and provides protection through the first trimester when CRS could harm an unborn child.
Additionally, one might ask “What if the pregnant woman refuses aborted fetal cell line vaccines for religious reasons? Should that trump the right of someone else who is abstaining?” The answer of course, is no.
It is important to keep in mind that the PAFL document was written for the entire world – not just the US. In some countries, rubella and CRS are still a problem. However, there is virtually no risk currently anywhere in the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America or South America nor has there been any risk for over sixteen years in the US. (19) “Significant risk”, “considerable danger” and “grave inconvenience” do not exist in the US.
Unfortunately, the article then makes the disingenuous assertion that “science does not substantiate claims that vaccines pose a significant threat”. Actually, science and reality say otherwise.
Under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, the Federal Government has paid out nearly $4 billion dollars to over 6,500 families of vaccine injured children, including 1,301 deaths. (20) It is important to understand that these numbers represent only those that were both filed in vaccine court and compensated. The number of adverse reactions are reported separately in the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) which receives over 10,000 reports annually; about 15% are serious. (21)
In conclusion, in 2015 Planned Parenthood boldly defended abortion based on the use of the fetal cell lines in vaccines as “life-saving research”. That too was false news because there have always been moral alternatives for all childhood vaccines except chickenpox. Japan has moral measles, mumps, rubella and hepatitis-A vaccines. And incredibly, many parents determined to stand by their moral convictions have traveled there to get their children vaccinated. Certainly, this is not an option for many who cannot afford to do that.
But when news agencies and bioethicists cling to outdated and false information, our bishops and other Catholic leaders are misled. And worse, the public is lulled into a tacit approval of the status quo since they are told it’s perfectly okay to use the vaccines. If there is no demand for moral alternatives, as the PAFL instructed the faithful to do, there will never be a reason for the industry to change.