A letter to the commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from a coalition of concerned Americans has urged that any vaccine being developed for COVID-19 be derived from ethical sources, without use of cell lines derived from aborted human beings. An associated email petition drive organized through the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) invites the general public to send the same message to the FDA.
The April 17 letter says in part, “To be clear, we strongly support efforts to develop an effective, safe, and widely available vaccine as quickly as possible. However, we also strongly urge our federal government to ensure that fundamental moral principles are followed in the development of such vaccines, most importantly, the principle that human life is sacred and should never be exploited.”
The letter, released by the USCCB, is signed by several USCCB members as well as by physicians and other health care professionals, medical ethicists, and pro-life activists.
Not a hypothetical situation
According to the letter, the concern over how a COVID-19 vaccine is to be derived is based on work that is already happening. Practical decisions are being made now.
We are aware that, among the dozens of vaccines currently in development, some are being produced using old cell lines that were created from the cells of aborted babies. For example, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has a substantial contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and is working on a vaccine that is being produced using one of these ethically problematic cell lines. Thankfully, other vaccines such as those being developed by Sanofi Pasteur, Inovio, and the John Paul II Medical Research Institute utilize cell lines not connected to unethical procedures and methods.
It is critically important that Americans have access to a vaccine that is produced ethically: no American should be forced to choose between being vaccinated against this potentially deadly virus and violating his or her conscience. Fortunately, there is no need to use ethically problematic cell lines to produce a COVID vaccine, or any vaccine, as other cell lines or processes that do not involve cells from abortions are available and are regularly being used to produce other vaccines.coalition letter to FDA, 4/17/2020
share the message
Share this letter and petition as you see fit. The online petition has a clear message, but includes space for your own words.
This is not about whether vaccines in general are a good idea. (I am grateful for some and reject others.) This is about refusing to embrace abortion in order to cure or prevent COVID-19.
I wish the letter had been unnecessary. The people who signed it clearly saw the need, though. All of them live and work in the real world with real people. They take things like pandemics seriously.
They have the right idea. I’m with them.
Image in post header by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay