We regularly receive emails asking about the use of aborted fetuses in developing vaccines; Kevin M., Canada, wrote in requesting comments in more detail. Dr Jonathan Sarfati’s responses are interspersed.
Dear Dr M.
Dear CMI, First off, I would like to say thank you for your all your good work; your website, the Creation magazine and the Journal of Creation are all extremely informative and useful and have been of great encouragement to me. Through 3 years of university majoring in biochemistry and 4 years of dental school, I faced a barrage of evolutionary teaching. Your resources have emboldened my faith.
We are happy that our work has been helpful.
I am responding to two articles on your website: 1. Vaccines and Genesis-Questions and Answers on Vaccinations and the Immune System and 2. Are vaccines biblical, safe or effective? The main point that I am addressing was brought up by someone by the name of Rachel in article #2 above where she writes: “And it is FACT that some vaccines are made using the medium of tissue cells of aborted fetuses!” to which the reply by Dr. Carl Wieland was:
“Abortion is a tragic evil, and the articles should have made clear that we don’t for a minute condone or support that, but oppose it in the strongest possible terms. This should be clear in general from Q&A: Human Life Abortion and Euthanasia. In fact, we would prefer it if you didn’t use such a medicalese term like ‘fetus’ for unborn baby, because this tends to perpetuate the notion that it is somehow less than a baby. That’s unless one would be likewise prepared to use the medicalese ‘gravida’ for the pregnant mother.”
And that was very reasonable. Whoever controls the language wins the debate, so we should not follow the pro-aborts with their selective medicalese which dehumanizes the unborn in the eyes of many laypeople. And the answer also made it clear that we oppose abortion, including to generate vaccine culture media.
In my opinion, the point posed by Rachel was not directly addressed by Dr. Weiland. Indeed, it is a fact that many of the vaccines used today have been developed using aborted fetal cell lines (Certainly I do not normally use the word “fetal” however this is the name commonly used to refer to these cell lines derived from aborted babies). Two of the most common aborted fetal cell lines are MRC-5 which has been used to make the hepatitis A vaccine, the hepatitis A&B vaccine, the Polio combination vaccine, and others, and the WI-38 cell line which has been used to make the Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine, and others.
OK, since this reply was made, I answered a pro-life friend who had asked a related question about the rabies vaccine being grown in human embryos. I replied:
I have my doubts about that. The rabies vaccine goes back to the creationist chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur (1822–1895), who infected rabbits; then after they died, he dried out their nerve tissue to weaken the germ. He gave it to Joseph Meister, a 9-year-old boy bitten by a rabid dog. The boy never developed rabies. Rabies vaccine is still made that way sometimes….
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