As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out...
Updated: Mar 3
In the past few weeks, much ink has been spilt and much bandwidth reserved on the topic of the COVID-19 vaccines that are making their way through the FDA’s approval process. Even within our small office, the questions of “Which vaccines are okay to use?” “Are they safe?” and ironic jokes about conspiracy theories have circulated. Within the pro-life movement at large, however, there are some real concerns about whether a vaccine is ethically sourced, since so many are developed from the remains of aborted fetuses.
As such, we are presenting our research here. This post is intended to inform, rather than to recommend. We are presenting the facts we have uncovered and omitting any recommendation on the matter.
First, on the matter of what makes a vaccine ethically unsound for a pro-lifer to use, there are several cell lines derived from aborted tissue that are available to the pharmaceutical R&D community, two of which were used in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine: HEK293 (which is derived from the kidney of a girl aborted in 1973)  and PER.C6 (which is derived from the retinas of a child aborted in 1985). 
The Charlotte Lozier Institute has compiled a chart of the vaccines that have received Operation Warp Speed funding, including the Pfizer BNT162b (which has received the emergency approval and is currently being distributed in the US) and Moderna’s mRNA-1273 (which has also advanced to distribution in the UK). Our researchers at Right to Life Michiana have double-checked the chart and the pharmaceutical companies’ information sheets, as well as the FDA’s studies, are consistent with the chart’s findings. Here it is: 
In brief, the only two vaccines involved with Operation Warp Speed that use aborted fetal remains in development are made by Astra/Zeneca (ChAdOx1) and Johnson & Johnson (Ad26). While it is true that all of the vaccines in Phase 3 trials or above use these cell lines in lab testing, lab tests are not inherently involved in the creation of a vaccine, nor will the reception of a vaccine be an endorsement of the use of these cell lines. As the Catholic Pontifical Academy for Life has observed, “it is no longer necessary to obtain cells from new voluntary abortions,” [4, 5] and as such, more abortions are not necessary to continue these cell lines. Furthermore, for Catholics, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has explicitly and directly granted their approval for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. 
For our readers, it is also worth noting that the effect that these vaccines have on fertility and pregnancy is not entirely known , evidenced by two prominent doctors having written to the European Medicine Agency, asking for further research before widespread distribution of the Pfizer vaccine begins. 
Additionally, the Pfizer vaccine will be the first mRNA vaccine (a style of vaccine that trains the body to create and target a specific protein) to be approved in the USA.  The theory behind mRNA vaccines has existed for decades, but because the technology has never seen widespread distribution before, long-term effects of this type of vaccine are still the topics of many studies.