By: Jeremy Blatchford
Can a person be pro-life yet profit from abortion? While it sounds rather absurd, this is the boiled down stance of many pro-life advocates. When focused directly on the heinous acts of the abortion industry, condemnation and moral outrage is the normal reaction as these people take a stand in the defense of the unborn; however, many are ignorant of the black market sales of aborted fetal tissues.
Such vile practices are slowly coming to light, but not before they have become a staple of the medical industry. Unbeknownst to many, these aborted fetal tissues are the foundation for many of the common vaccines we regularly receive as early as infants. Still worse is when pro-life advocates have realized the connections between abortion and the pharmaceutical industry, yet turn a blind eye to these practices. It is logically inconsistent to be pro-life and to advocate for the use of vaccines that are built upon the tissues of aborted children.
Abortion is an explosive topic with people lining up on both sides of the issue in masses. For the sake of this essay, I will define abortion flat out as murder. I am not here to debate with pro-choice advocates; rather, I am here to open the eyes of my fellow pro-lifers, who will most likely agree with such a definition. With that said, it is safe to conclude that abortion, as murder, is a terrible act and is, in the theological sense, a blatant sin that destroys a life made in the image of God.
I remember the pro-life outrage that boiled up in 2015 when it first dropped. A man named David Daleiden released his first of numerous undercover videos from inside Planned Parenthood. In the months in which he went undercover, he recorded some incredibly disturbing footage. In some, an abortionist laughed as they pieced together the dismembered remains of a recently aborted fetus. In another, a high-ranking Planned Parenthood official asked for a Lamborghini as she haggled over the prices of fetal tissues. Planned Parenthood took Daleiden and his undercover cohort Sandra Merritt to court, attempting to redirect the attention to the journalists and their fake IDs and such red herrings. Despite the conclusions of the Planned Parenthood hired Fusion GPS “experts” that claim Daleiden’s footage was “misleadingly edited,” a Texas judge sided with Daleiden when a forensic firm reported the video authentic and not deceptively edited. While the legal weight of America’s abortion industry has been thrown heavily at these journalists, it has become undeniable that the sale of aborted fetal tissues is indeed occurring. Where else would such companies procure fetal tissues except from abortionists? Some argue that the tissue is donated, but we have seen some medical companies losing court battles because their illegal sales of fetal tissues. In court, it has come to light that this entire undercover investigation was started because there was evidence that Planned Parenthood was changing their abortion methods so that the babies would be born alive and in a way that their organs could be harvested right away with little to no damage to the valuable parts.
The pro-life movement has been united in speaking out against this terrible practice. The sale of human flesh is revolting to practically all pro-life activists, and is actively condemned; yet, the real conundrum is that these same people who condemn it have turned a blind eye to the purpose of such sales. Why would fetal tissues be worth so much in the first place? Who is able to find a use for such an ethically questionable product? The answer lies in the pharmaceutical industry. Fetal tissues are used in embryonic stem cell research, in experimental treatment of diseases, and of course, as the template for live viruses. Common live virus vaccines include MMR, Chicken Pox, Hepatitis A, Varicella, Rabies, Shingles and Polio vaccines, among the long list of others. As the list shows, many of these vaccines are on the required list of the CDC’s vaccine schedule and are given routinely to millions of people every year, especially children.
So here we see the connection. Abortionists are selling fetal tissues to third party organizations that, using legal limbo, profit from the sales to medical and research facilities. Some pro-vaccine individuals attempt to get past this ethical dilemma by pointing out that the cell lines used today in vaccines either are not the same as using fetal tissues, or that the abortions that resulted in these cell lines were decades ago. Neither argument is sound. After all, their cellular changes since the abortion and their temporal distance from the abortion event do not change the fact that they stem from the bodies of murdered children. Others might argue that it was only two fetuses, and they were going to be aborted anyway. To the second claim, their abortions are still sickening no matter how inevitable they are assumed to be. To the first claim I point to the sworn testimony of Dr. Plotkin, the esteemed author of “Plotkin’s Vaccines,” a common textbook on vaccines. Nestled within many hours of testimony about vaccines, Dr. Plotkin was forced to admit that a single cell line required 76 fetuses to produce one successful cell line. Clearly cell lines are not easy things to make if it takes the tissues from over 70 children to create.
Practicing Catholics are typically very strict in their pro-life stance. The Vatican still remains adamantly against such practices, and quite openly condemns it as murder. It is in light of this that many are shocked to hear the Catholic Church claiming that it is not sinful to use vaccines that are produced by the use of aborted fetal tissues. They seem to argue against abortion as one of their strongest objections in some cases, but they turn around and make exceptions for it in the specific situation of vaccinations. The juxtaposition here is perplexing and, in all likelihood, hypocritical. In the journal Medicina e Morale, edited by the Centra di Bioetica della Universita Cattolica in Rome, Catholic bioethicists condemn the production of vaccines in this manner; yet they flip on their condemnation to claim that it is morally acceptable to use the products of abortion under some circumstances.
Their reasoning can be summed up thus: abortionists are sinful, and those researchers that willingly use such tissues are also in sin; however, those that need to use the vaccines for their health benefits are not guilty of sin as long as there is no other way to protect against the spread of these diseases. As Dr. Ploktin points out, the Catholic church claims that abortionists and vaccine researchers like himself that use fetal tissues are the ones condemned to hell (which doesn’t bother the atheist Plotkin), but those that use the vaccines are innocent. Is this logical? In essence, this Catholic position assumes that the ends justify the means. But do they?
Ethically, the claim that the ends justify the means is shallow at best. It allows for unspeakable acts of immorality as long as the end result is a morally beneficial one. In this, the Catholic Church is not just aiding the population in its efforts to remain healthy; they are actively supporting a for-profit industry that makes billions of dollars off of the production and use of aborted human flesh. Homeland security defines human trafficking as “… involving the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act;“ however, human trafficking is not just about labor or sex. Organ trafficking is a real issue. It is summarized as:
“the recruitment, transport, transfer, harboring or receipt of living or deceased persons or their organs by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or of the giving to, or the receiving by, a third party of payments or benefits to achieve the transfer of control over the potential donor, for the purpose of exploitation by the removal of organs for transplantation.”
While this tissue may not be solely use for transplantation, the use of fetal tissues is indeed taken by force and sold to a third party by exploiting the innocent child. If this is the case, then the pharmaceutical industry that profits from the sales of vaccines that use such tissue is in the dead center of one of the world’s largest human trafficking schemes. Is the Catholic Church really tolerant of human trafficking? Are those the ends that justify the means? Are the ends found in possible health benefits to us truly worth the means of direct investment into further human trafficking and abortion?
It comes down to this: are those that continue to vaccinate with the knowledge that they are using fetal tissues innocent of the abortion and human trafficking? The Catholic Church’s position seems to suggest that it is morally acceptable, but many of us pro-life advocates see the hypocrisy in such a stance. Even if we grant that vaccines help reduce the dangers of diseases (something that in many cases is false, which further hinders the Catholic argument), we are purposefully placing funds into the hands of those that make a profit from the abortions, dissections, sale, and experimentation on innocent human children. No, the ends do not justify the means. As Mother Miriam, host of the “Mother Miriam Live!” YouTube channel says in direct opposition to her fellow Catholics, “No, we never need to go against our conscience… those vaccinations might save [us from] diseases and plagues… but we don’t do evil to get good.” The ends do not justify the means, especially when the means are not only evil, but perpetuate the continued evil in the future.
The vaccine industry is not only ignoring any religious objections to the use of fetal tissues in their products, they are actively moving to silence any religious dissent so that they can continue to profit from these multi-billion dollar products. States across America have begun to remove religious exemptions to vaccinations. California, New York, West Virginia, Mississippi and Maine have successfully done so, leaving some pro-life advocates with little legal way to avoid committing what they see as an atrocity against God. No government should ever have the power to force a person to compromise their beliefs, especially one guided by a constitution such as ours that was designed to avoid all such attempts.
For any pro-life activists to not only accept such ruling from their government, but openly support it as well means the pro-lifer has negated the core of what it means to be pro-life: to oppose abortion in all forms and protect the God-given right to life. As William Wilberforce once said when presenting his bills to end slavery throughout the British Empire, “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” Along with this knowledge comes the responsibility to act. For as has been said many times before, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” To accept and use vaccines built upon the flesh of innocent humans is not an inert act, but rather, one of support. As said in Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Is it worth the attempt to increase our own health if we have to lose our soul by sacrificing countless innocents to accomplish it? Clearly it is not. If we support the use of aborted fetal tissues in vaccines, we simply cannot be considered pro-life.
Jeremy Blatchford, a California resident, earned his B.S. degree in Biology from Simpson University, and his M.A. degree in Science & Religion from Biola University. He currently teaches high school biology, where he puts a particular emphasis on critical thinking, especially on controversial topics like the origins of life, climate change and bioethics.