I recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Christina Francis about the need for ethical vaccine development. Dr. Francis is the Chairman of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, or AAPLOG for short. We discuss the need for ethical vaccines that do not use cell strands from aborted children, how this is a human rights issue, and the various COVID vaccines that have been, and are being developed. Also learn more about AAPLOG at www.aaplog.org.
Why Must They Be Ethical?
Which ones use aborted cells and which ones do not? In discussing this, Dr. Francis references a study by the Lozier Institute which documents this. This report is very informative and lays out which COVID-19 vaccines are developed using aborted cell lines.
Many have questioned the use of, not only the new vaccines for COVID-19, but vaccines in general. Some have a moral stance against use based on the used of aborted cell lines. The joint statement addresses this by stating,
It is also profoundly important to recognize the vaccines that may have been developed with the use of abortion-derived fetal cell lines. This awareness is necessary from the perspective of both the health care professional and the patient, and every participant in this process deserves to know the source of the vaccine used to allow them to follow their moral conscience. It is long overdue for researchers to abandon the use of abortion-derived cells. When all approved vaccines are fully ethical, from development to production, our physician-led organizations and like-minded Americans will no longer question their use.
Good Health Care
The interview conducted with Dr. Francis was not theological in nature. She and her organization are simply looking at vaccine development from a pro-life perspective. A majority of vaccines have alternatives that were developed ethically. The joint statement states,
Healthcare professionals and hospital systems should make the source of their vaccines known to the public, with specific information regarding those that are ethically produced. Providing this transparency to those who rely on them is a foundation of good medical care. In addition, patients and their families should not hesitate to contact their health care professionals and request specific information about the vaccines available and their sources. This applies not only to COVID-19 vaccines, but all other routine vaccinations. Most vaccines have ethical alternatives, and with the public’s expectations of ethical options, the production of unethical vaccines will decline and morally acceptable vaccines will replace them.
Respect For Life
If we believe that life begins at conception then it is unethical to experiment or develop something based on the material of the preborn person. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were developed with material not related to aborted cell lines. In some cases testing was done using these lines, but that is vastly different that using them for development. Again the joint statements states,
Respect for life is foundational, and the exploitation of the unborn for vaccine production is a violation of basic human rights. The current pandemic is an opportunity for all involved in healthcare delivery to raise their expectations and demand clear information that confirms morally correct care and prevention of disease. If COVID-19 vaccines are approved as safe and effective, we believe utilization of the least ethically problematic vaccine available may be justified by the intended good achieved in the prevention of disease and death of those around us.
Ethical Vaccine Interview
The interview is very informative. In my opinion the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the most ethical to take if one needs it. The USCCB released a statement that said these two vaccines are morally permissible. Fellow Patheos writer, Fr. Matthew Schneider, has dealt with this issue in depth in recent weeks.