Abortion and the COVID Vaccines

US

At least two Catholic bishops have been urging pro-lifers not to use the COVID vaccines on the ground that their development involved abortion. (You may recall a controversy last month regarding how President Trump’s COVID case was treated.)

Drudge is linking to this story that centers on Joseph Brennan, the Catholic bishop of Fresno. Hayley Smith reports:

Brennan joins a growing chorus of Catholic organizations concerned about stem cells and COVID-19 vaccines. . . . In July, the Philadelphia-based National Catholic Bioethics Center shared a statement in which President Joseph Meany described the potential reliance on a stem cell-developed vaccine as a “nightmare scenario” that would “cause major conscience problems for pro-lifers and Catholics.”

But that’s not the last word Meany has had on the subject. On EWTN last week, he explained that the nightmare scenario has been averted: Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine used cells taken from aborted human beings for their development or production. Both were, however, tested using cells that may have been derived from an abortion in 1973.

The connection between that possible abortion and the vaccines is attenuated. No one who takes them to protect himself and his community from COVID need worry that he is either causing an abortion, encouraging abortion in the future, or conferring approval of it.

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(Public Discourse has run two essays making this case in some detail.)

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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