Christianity Creation/evolution Decay of society Science

Using Aborted Babies For Vaccines Is Never Justified

The cells from aborted healthy babies have been used in the development of vaccines and medicines for about 80 years.  The argument has been made that since the cell lines are significantly unrelated to the act of the abortion of the baby it is morally justifiable for a Christian to receive vaccines that used such cells in their development and manufacture.

However it is argued that it would be morally wrong if the babies were aborted for the express purpose of using their parts to develop the vaccines and other medicines. I agree. But even if these babies weren’t aborted for the purpose of using their body parts, it would still be morally wrong to use them to develop vaccines and other medicines. But as it stands, the aforementioned argument relies on the notion that the cell lines used are so old, coming from aborted babies back in the 1960s, that there is now little connection to them.

Jonathan Sarfati of CMI wrote in an online letter defending their use:1

“No new embryos are being generated for the purpose of culturing vaccines (this is immoral). The vaccine makers had nothing to do with the abortions.”

Using aborted babies 50 days or 50 years after being killed does not make it morally right. Additional time cannot make something morally right. And whether the researchers had anything to do with the abortions is irrelevant to the argument whether it is morally right to use aborted baby parts. Furthermore is that premise really true in vaccine and other medical research today?

Sarfati continued:1

“After all, would we refuse a life-saving organ that was from a victim of a drunk driver for example who listed ‘Organ Donor’ on the driver’s license, because he was killed in a sinful way?”

A child receiving an oral polio vaccine Credit: Wikipedia

I find no moral equivalency even if the vaccine scientists had no connection to the original murder of the unborn baby. Society recognises that the ‘organ donor’ may have been murdered, or, if in an auto accident, it may have been a crime of manslaughter when the driver who killed him was intoxicated by some substance.  But with the abortion of a defenceless baby society does not recognise the practice as murder. This fact alone leads to justifying the right to kill children in order that other humans may live. Besides the ‘organ donor’ via his driver’s licence did in fact give his consent but where is the consent from the unborn baby to give her body parts?

Early vaccine development

As early as 1936, forced abortions were performed under the US “Model Eugenic Sterilization Law” of 1922 and used in polio research.  Albert Sabin was an early polio vaccine pioneer. In 1936 he wrote:2

“A new approach was made by the use of 3- to 4-months-old human embryos, obtained aseptically by Cesarean section…The brain and cord, the lungs, kidneys, liver, and spleen were stored in the refrigerator, fragments of these tissues being taken for the preparation of media at 3-day intervals.”  [Emphasis added]

The method of the abortions certainly suggests that they were done that way to optimise the quality of the human fetal tissue that they desired. Deliberate intent seems to be there.

In 1952 in regards to their efforts to cultivate the Poliomyelitis virus in tissue culture researchers Joan Thicke, Darlene Duncan, William Wood, A.E. Franklin, and A.J. Rhodes wrote:3

“Human embryos of two and one-half to five months gestation were obtained from the gynaecological department of the Toronto General Hospital…No macerated specimens were used and in many of the embryos the heart was still beating at the time of receipt in the virus laboratory.”   [Emphasis added]

In this case the hearts of the aborted babies were still beating. Don’t tell me that the scientists had no connection to the aborted babies!

Again in 1952 Thomas Weller and John Enders, who also worked on polio viruses wrote:4

“Embryos of between 12-18 weeks gestation have been utilized. Rarely tissues were obtained from stillborn fetuses, or from premature infants at autopsy…In the experiments 3 sorts of embryonic materials were used: elements of skin, connective tissue, muscle; intestinal tissue; brain tissue…Whenever possible the embryo was removed from the amniotic sac.., transferred to a sterile towel and kept at 5 C until dissected.”[Emphasis added]

In 1954, John Enders, Thomas Weller, and Frederick Robbins were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discovery of the ability of poliomyelitis viruses to grow in cultures of various types of tissue.” From what they wrote it is plainly evident that they needed recently aborted babies for the needed tissues to grow their cultures.

Current vaccine development

A lot of the information presented here has been taken from an article by Debi Vinnedge “Aborted Fetal Material Used in Vaccines and Medicines.” She wrote that her document has been meticulously researched to explain the direct link to the abortions involved and the cell lines created. She also cites the sources which describe the work of the scientists who used aborted babies to create vaccines. I have built on her work.

Below under the heading “List of commercially available human fetal tissues” I list some tissue types commonly listed in vaccines. (There are many other tissue types, not listed below, used for various purposes.5,6) The year of the abortions, or, at least, when a report on the tissue was first published is also shown. In some cases, the list also specifies how many abortions were needed to develop the cultures or tissue lines.

This shows a clear connection to the need to abort babies and extract healthy tissue to successfully grow some of the viruses in vitro. Remember a virus is not living in the usual biological sense like a bacterium is, but it is more like a machine that co-opts the host’s cell chemistry to enable it to reproduce. Also the viruses themselves may be obtained/isolated from aborted fetuses that have been infected with a particular virus.

The argument has been made that no vaccines current being produced use cells lines of recent aborted babies, but only from established cell lines, which trace back decades to the original abortion. That might be so, but do you remember the 2015 undercover videos involving some Planned Parenthood executives talking about how much they can sell aborted baby parts for?7,8 Surprisingly the sale of such baby parts is legal under a 1993 United States federal law (under President Clinton) as long as the provider recovers only costs for donating the tissue.  But that exposé of those Planned Parenthood executives indicates to me that there does seem to be a strong push to keep abortions going for the valuable baby parts they provide to researchers.

New cell lines needed

Finally, new cell lines need to be developed because of the depleting supply of older cell lines.9

“In 1975, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, under contract to the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to establish and maintain an Aging Cell Repository, was directed to establish and bank for future research a new human diploid cell line as a replacement for the cell line known as WI38. WI-38 had been established and characterized in the early 1960’s as a standard (reference cell line) in the burgeoning field of cell biology; but in the early 70’s, the NIH stock of low passage WI-38 cells had become seriously depleted. The cell line developed at Coriell, identified as IMR-90 (1), was the first of several lines planned in support of NIA research programs and general cell biology research.

The IMR-90 cell line, like WI-38, was derived from lung tissue of a human female embryo following therapeutic abortion.” [emphasis added]

At FDA hearings in 2001 it was stated that10

“Due to the diminishing supply of WI-38 cells, the MRC-5 line has become the most widely used cell strain in the production of [human diploid cell strains] HDCS-derived human vaccines.”

In 2015 Chinese researchers stated that this was the reason to develop new cell lines.11

“… it is extremely difficult to obtain qualified HDCSs that can satisfy the requirements for the mass production of vaccines.”

Fresh aborted babies will still be required to obtain the needed cells to culture live viruses for continued vaccine and medicine development. Thus the argument cannot be sustained that the cell lines are very old and so there is no moral hazard using them in ethical vaccine and medicine production. I contend that this is a false argument. There is no question that human fetal tissue research is well underway.

Fresh abortions are still needed

In the following I quote from a June 2016 Brief of Amici Curiae Fetal Tissue Researchers, Scientists, Physicians, Medical and Legal Ethicists and Academics in Support of Plaintiff-Appellee Case No. 16-15360 in the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.12

… fetal tissue research is absolutely needed today to save lives threatened by diseases, viruses, and other health afflictions. “’[F]etal tissue continues to be a critical resource for important efforts such as research on degenerative eye disease, human development disorders such as Down syndrome, and infectious diseases …’ [from therapies for end-stage breast cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease to a promising vaccine for Ebola, vital medical research depends on continued use of fetal tissue under current laws and regulations.” Association of American Medical Colleges Statement in Support of Fetal Tissue.

Fetal tissue research is medical/scientific research conducted using tissue from non-living human fetuses that would be otherwise discarded. … While the fetal tissue used in research generally comes from legal, voluntary, induced abortions, it may also be a product of a spontaneous abortion (“miscarriage”). … However, tissue from spontaneous abortions is not an adequate substitute for tissue from voluntary abortions. [emphasis added]

The report explains why.

Fetal tissue is “a flexible, less-differentiated tissue …allowing researchers to study basic biology or use it as a tool in a way that can’t be replicated with adult tissue.”

Fetal tissue for research cannot be replaced by non-human tissue, or for that matter, computer-generated material. “[G]ene regulation—the finely tuned symphony that controls when and where genes are active—can vary strikingly between species, so findings in other animals often do not hold true in humans.” …  Animals “differ from humans in size, appearance, longevity, physiology, and performance.”

This is because…

“Mouse, the most popular model, diverged from a common ancestor 75-80 million years ago. This divergence has led to important differences in anatomy, even at the earliest developmental stages, and in some important biochemical pathways ….”

So it would seem that you have to use human babies to do the research because mice are not evolutionary close enough to humans. So you can see how the evolutionary worldview affects this thinking. And there is ongoing research to humanise some mice. By adding some human genes they intend on making some laboratory mice with tissue more like humans.

Under President George H.W. Bush’s administration it was eventually concluded that the use of human fetal tissue in research, following deliberate abortions, is “acceptable public policy”. But to make sure that no one could profit from aborting babies for tissue research it was made illegal in some States to be paid for the baby parts.

The panel also recommended, consistent with rules promulgated by DHHS in 1975, that “the decision and consent to abort must precede discussion of the possible use of fetal tissue” so that “a woman’s abortion decision would be insulated from inducements to abort to provide tissue for transplant research and therapy,” Advisory Report at 2-3, and that there be a prohibition on “payments .. . associated with the procurement of fetal tissue …except payment for reasonable expenses” to ensure there would be “no offer of financial incentives or personal gain to encourage abortion or donation of fetal tissues.”

You might wonder how well that is being policed. You might also wonder why all the discussion in regards to abortions if only cell lines that originated from the 1960s and 70s are used. Quite obviously this 2016 court hearing even happened because of the need to protect the supply of freshly aborted babies for medical research.

In reading through this report I was struck by all the arguments in favour of this type of research on aborted babies with the goal to cure or prevent diseases in a large part in babies and children. Even to cure babies in utero. Many aborted babies are needed to look for cures of some diseases affecting preborn babies and children.

Believing Christians should have no dilemma. The idea of harvesting tissue from aborted babies for vaccines and medicines can never be justified. In many cases dozens of abortions need to be performed just to obtain the cells that the researchers need, so that they may be successful in culturing their viruses. The current efforts into development of a COVID-19 vaccine include the use of aborted baby cell lines.13,26

List of commercially available human fetal tissues

WI-38: 1962 Wistar Institute, Specimen No. 38, 32nd abortion.14,15 Abortion performed in Sweden and shipped to Leonard Hayflick, Wistar Institute, Philadelphia. Lung tissue 3 months gestation, Caucasian female baby. Used to culture the attenuated rubella virus19 clinically named RA273 (R=Rubella, A=Abortus, 27=27th fetus, 3=3rd tissue explant) then cultivated on the WI-38 aborted fetal cell line. Isolated from kidney by Dr. Stanley Plotkin. 40 more elective abortions for rubella virus isolation by T.H. Chang,20 (67 in total). Used in development of rubella and MMR vaccines. Therefore 67 abortions were required to produce rubella virus plus an additional 32 abortions to produce the cell line for cultivation which means there was a total of at least 99 elective abortions to create the rubella vaccine alone.

WI-26: 1964 Wistar Institute, Specimen No. 26, 20th abortion.15 Abortion performed in Sweden and shipped to Leonard Hayflick, Wistar Institute, Philadelphia. Lung tissue, 3 months gestation male baby. Used in recombinant DNA for Enbrel. Cells have Simian virus 40 (SV40) T-Ag but infectious virus has not been rescued.16

WI-44: 1964 Wistar Institute, Specimen No. 44, 38th abortion.9 Abortion performed in Sweden and shipped to Leonard Hayflick, Wistar Institute, Philadelphia. Lung tissue, 3 months gestation female. Open testimony on use of 76 aborted fetuses.17

MRC-5: 1966 Medical Research Council (London), 5th abortion.18 Abortion performed in UK for “psychiatric reasons”. Lung tissue, 14 weeks gestation Caucasian male. Used in (some) Polio, Rabies, Chickenpox, Hepatitis-A, Zostavax for shingles vaccines.

HEK-293: 1973 Human Embryonic Kidney, Specimen No. 293.21 Abortion performed in the Netherlands. Kidney tissue; gestation age not recorded. Used in drugs, Pulmozyme, Repro, Eloctate, rhFVI, Nuwiq and Ebola vaccines under development.

IMR-90: 1977 Abortion in US; Coriell Cell Repository. Designer cell line to replace WI-38.9 Lung tissue; 16 weeks gestation Caucasian female.22

Lambda. hE1: 1980 Abortion in US for “psychosocial indications”.23 Liver Tissue; Second Trimester abortion, Caucasian. Used in drugs Procrit, Epoetin alfa, Epogen, Aranesp, Darbepoetin alfa.

IMR-91: 1983 Abortion in US; Coriell Cell Repository. Designer cell line to replace MRC-5. Lung tissue; 12 weeks gestation male.24

PER.C6: 1985 Abortion in Netherlands, “mother wanted to get rid of the fetus”, father unknown.25 Retinal tissue, 18 weeks gestation. Growth medium for human viruses. Designed specifically for the pharmaceutical industry. Used in Ebola vaccines under development.26 Used by Johnson & Johnson in their lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate.26

WALVAX2: 2015 Abortion in China, 9th Abortion.11 Lung tissue; 3 months gestation female. Designed specifically to replace depleting supply of WI-38 and MRC-5.

05/06/2020 Addendum: Planned Parenthood under oath declare their sales of baby body parts to medical research institutions.

Release date on YouTube: 26 May 2020

View the documents and testimony at Centre of Medical Progress (CMP)

To learn more about CMP, visit:


  1. Jonathan Sarfati, Vaccines and abortion? 24 March 2012, Jonathan Sarfati made similar statements in CMI, vaccines, and vaccination, 13 May 2018, last updated 3 June 2020, I reproduce them here. “The above is the tenuous connection between vaccines and abortion. However, no new embryos are being generated for the purpose of culturing vaccines—this would be immoral. Rather, these vaccines use the cell lines from a baby already killed decades ago, and that not for the purpose of creating vaccines. … A similar comparison would be organ donation. Would we refuse a life-saving organ that was from a victim of a drunk driver for example who listed “Organ Donor” on the driver’s license, because he was killed in a sinful way?”
  2. Albert B Sabin, Peter K. Olitsky, Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and medicine, Cultivation of Poliomyelitis Virus in vitro in human embryonic tissue. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med, 34, 357-359, 1936.
  3. Joan C. Thicke, Darline Duncan, William Wood, A. E. Franklin and A. J. Rhodes; Cultivation of Poliomyelitis Virus in Tissue Culture; Growth of the Lansing Strain in Human Embryonic Tissue, Canadian Journal of Medical Science Vol. 30, 231-245, 1952.
  4. Thomas H. Weller, John F. Enders, Studies on the Cultivation of Poliomyelitis Viruses in Tissue Culture : I. The Propagation of Poliomyelitis Viruses in Suspended Cell Cultures of Various Human Tissue; Journal of Immunology Vol 69,  645-671, 1952.
  6. enter ‘human fetus’ in the search box.
  9. Coriell Institute for Medical Research, Cell Collections, A publication of the Coriell Cell Repositories 2003/2004,
  10. USA FDA Centre for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, 2001.
  11. Walvax Biotechnology Co. Ltd.; Kunming, Yunnan, PR China; Bo Ma et al, Characteristics and viral propagation properties of a new human diploid cell line, walvax-2, and its suitability as a candidate cell substrate for vaccine production, Hum Vaccin Immunother 11(4): 998-1009, 2015.
  14. L. Hayflick and P.S. Moorhead, The Serial Cultivation of Human Diploid Cell Strains, Experimental Cell Research Vol 25, pp 585- 621, 1961.
  15. L. Hayflick, The Limited In Vitro Lifetime of Human Diploid Cell Strains, Experimental Cell Research, Vol 37, 614-636 1964.
  16. ECACC General Cell Collection: WI 26 VA4
  17. Plotkin et al, Cytological and Chromosomal Studies of Cell Strains from Aborted Human Fetuses, Exp Biology, Vol 122, 1966.
  18. Jacobs et al, Characteristics of a human diploid cell designated MRC-5, Nature, Vol 227, 168 -170, 1970.
  19. Plotkin et al, Attenuation of RA 2713 Rubella Virus in WI-38 Human Diploid Cell, American Journal of Diseases of Children, Vol. 118, 178-179, August 1969.
  20. T. H. Chang et al., “Chromosome Studies of Human Cells Infected in Utero and In Vitro with Rubella Virus,” Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 122.1, 237–238, 1966.
  21. USA FDA Centre for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, 2001.
  22. W W Nichols et al, Characterization of a New Human Diploid Cell Strain, IMR-90, Science Vol 196(4285): 60-3, 1977.
  24. W W Nichols et al, Characterization of a New Human Diploid Cell line–IMR-91, In Vitro. Vol 19(10): 797-804, 1983.

By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.

10 replies on “Using Aborted Babies For Vaccines Is Never Justified”

Thank you so much for posting this article. Most would have no idea about the use of aborted babies for vaccine research and in the actual vaccines. The pharmaceutical industry is more morally corrupt than we would ever know. This information highlights the fact that some researchers and companies have no regard for human dignity whatsoever and are happy to have their dirty little secrets. Will people, especially Christians, refuse the vaccines when they know they have the DNA of aborted babies in them?

Liked by 1 person

I value Jonathan Sarfati’s work in that he has helped people understand the errors in evolutionary theory. However his argument raised in defence of using murdered babies’ embryos undermines his position. Does he support the current practice used to obtain the necessary recent embryos namely:
“Mouse, the most popular model, diverged from a common ancestor 75-80 million years ago. This divergence has led to important differences in anatomy, even at the earliest developmental stages, and in some important biochemical pathways ….”
Does he now subscribe to the “75-80 million years”
Your conclusion is evidenced based and valid:
“Believing Christians should have no dilemma. The idea of harvesting tissue from aborted babies for vaccines and medicines can never be justified.”
Thank you for your efforts in bringing truth to the light.
I will forward to Creation Ministries International to “fact check” Jonathan’s position.


Thank you for this article, John. I have been deeply disturbed by the use of fetal cells from aborted babies in vaccines.


It is not a part of God’s character that it would be necessary to use aborted babies for this purpose.
It’s disgusting and probably causes other problems that we are not even aware of. (Auto-immune diseases that have no known cause…)
They gave Italy a ‘new’ flu vaccine this past fall…they used dog organ cells…dogs get are high risk for carona virus.
How ignorant we are….
We need only to ponder for a second…would the Lord approve?


The following comment was received by email from a Christian lawyer. I am posting it on his behalf.

It seems the issue is being missed. In property law there is a principle nemo dat quod non harbet, which means you cannot give what you don’t have. It means a subsequent innocent purchaser cannot acquire good title to a chattel or other item where an earlier transaction was done illegitimately. It is abhorrent to treat human body parts as property, since this was once the rationalism for slavery, but this is exactly what the abortion industry does. Let’s take the principal by itself though. How can we gain a right to deal with someone else’s body when that part was stolen?

If pro-life advocates consider abortion morally murder, then that raises a darker question. Bluntly put, is it legitimate to purchase body parts from a murderer?

If the pro-life position as understood above is taken consistently then it can never be legitimate to intentionally derive a direct benefit from an abortion.

Liked by 1 person

I am so thankful that you have addressed the pure evil of society daring to benefit from the horrifying practice of human sacrifice. The researchers may not be guilty of the physical murder of the innocents, yet they connive with the ones who do. They are partnering with the ones who actually commit the slaughters for the sake of “research”. The guilt of blood money is on them as well for they do pay for the babies tissues and organs and they sell the resulting vaccines and medications made from them. Christians are to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them”. Eph. 5:11 ;”The transgression of the wicked saith within my hear, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.” Ps. 36:1-4; “But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him,…” Ps. 50:16-18a The “thieves” are also the ones who steal the life of the innocents.

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Gideon Hartnett my take is that sin-filled mankind , in general and sinful men , in particular will commit acts of appalling immorality . SIN. That is what a ‘sinner’ does. And the rationale is always to the emotional appeal. Safety of many. The issue of ‘rape’ ALWAYS arises whenever abortion issue is raised.
Killing an innocent because of another’s choice to sin is monstrous.
Why not execute the rapist?
No. That would be inhumane.
But kill the resultant baby and use its body parts for ‘some other perceived “good” supposedly’.

I often wonder how God manages to endure patiently the plethora of horrific actions of men ,and women , driven by satanic prompting and those pursuing the elusive almighty mammon. Forsaking any knowledge of God.
I then think of the supposedly essential trade in animals for commercial purpose in the ‘food industry’ . Does this also violate Gods desire that we not kill?

On the day that Jesus died , it is reported that the sacrifices of animals went from early light BEFORE sunrise until last light . Many animals killed to attempt to avert consciousness of sin instead of STOPPING SINNING .
Abortion is NEVER needed to ‘save’ a mother-to-be’s life , so says a paediatric surgeon of 28 years.
I am appalled that in the 21st Century people still excuse bad behaviour and choices.


Hi John. Many intelligent men are tempted toward pragmatism. I agree with you. Your arguments are sound. Jonathan’s argument about a sinful act creating a death, therefore that death can be used for life may hold water in his analogy, but breaks down when the victim has not given consent. Consent of use is the key. Also pragmatism never knows when to stop. I know that is the “slippery slope” argument and is looked down upon by many. But the core truth of the argument is there none-the-less. Once we give in on the use of murdered tissue to be used to save the life of the living, then the living will go to the pragmatic side and choose those who they deem “lesser” and use them to sustain or prolong their own days. In essence it’s saying: “I am more important than the murdered, because I have not been murdered,” (Or to that effect) It’s saying: “I can turn a blind eye to the murdered, because it helps another unmurdered person.”
Also in his analogy we can assume that the drunk driver is prosecuted for his crime. Therefore the injustice has been rectified. Not so with the murder of the child. Which leads to your next argument.
Your arguments about new cell lines being constantly needed is true. Therefore that initial cell line has to constantly be regenerated and degrades over time. Also let’s think about advancements in science which you mentioned briefly. In the case of new diseases (or specific diseases) that can be cured from cell lines of babies with specific traits,  Pragmatism would then be able to say: “well we did it with the original cell line, then why not look for other cell lines that cure other diseases..genetically specific cell lines.” And on and on it goes….
But the main point that I have is this:
Abstaining from every appearance of evil is the biblical mandate. There is definitely an “appearance” of evil there. Also. Once you open the door to unethical behavior, because it may temporarily help someone, is in essence saying “let us do evil that good may come”
Just my take…..Thank you for the article…Steve

Liked by 1 person

John, I have read your article and the comments received,
and am in general agreement with what you have to say.
If abortion is murder (which it is), then using the results
of this murder is not morally justifiable, regardless of the
circumstances. Here is a recent Breakpoint article by
John Stonestreet which reminds us of the evil that comes
from using (yes, even selling) fetal body parts from abortions.



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