A controversy over a COVID-19 vaccine shows no signs of slowing since it involves the use of aborted baby cells, but a pro-life organization is attempting to help the public understand the issue can be a complicated one.
In the race for a COVID vaccine, some companies have used such a cell line in testing phases but Johnson & Johnson used such cells in vaccine production, drawing scrutiny from numerous Catholic leaders for doing so.
No cells from aborted babies are in the actual vaccine given to the public but some Catholic leaders are advising people to avoid the Johnson & Johnson shot because of its close connection to the fetal cell line.
Dr. David Prentice of the Charlotte Lozier Institute says the use of fetal cell lines is standard practice in testing and research, and it often goes back years and years. The research by Johnson & Johnson, for example, dates back to a cell line created from an aborted baby in 1985.
“It's a required, essential part of the vaccine production process,” Prentice tells One News Now. “What goes into my arm, that material of the vaccine, has been inside those cells and so for some people that is too close.”
The position of Lozier, a Catholic-based organization, is that the public deserves to know medical research does indeed begin with fetal cell lines but it is also true those human cells are reproduced and grown in labs over and over, and create other lines of cells used for research and experiments far removed from the aborted fetus.
According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the vaccine with the “least connection to abortion-derived cell lines should be chosen.”
In a column over the issue, Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore stated his opinion: There are “unethical” aspects of the medical research but a Christian is not sinning if they receive such a vaccine.
“Taking the COVID vaccine,” he wrote, “is morally right."