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The Catholic bishops of Iowa released a statement on COVID-19 vaccines on Dec. 3. The vaccines have come under fire from pro-life Christians due to the involvement of abortion-derived cell lines in the development, production or testing of a vaccine.

The bishops said people may in good conscience use vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna, “which made only limited use of those unethical cell lines (for lab testing of the vaccine.”

They went on to say:

“Morally speaking, the vaccine offered by these two companies is relatively remote from the evil of abortion, and so need not trouble anyone’s conscience to use either one.”

The bishops also attempt to assure those worried about the safety of the vaccines.

“Experts explain that the speed is a testimony to scientific advances that turned years into months without compromising safety and scientific integrity,” they wrote. “Some people are concerned, too, about the risk of side effects. There is no scientifically proven link between vaccines and other conditions, such as autism.”

The bishops acknowledge that there is “troubling news” that some drug companies used cell lines from the fetal tissue of an aborted baby in the design, development and production of their vaccines.

However, the vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna made “only limited use” of those cell lines and those two vaccines are “relatively remote” from the evil of abortion.

The bishops point out that other companies use a cell line from the fetal tissue of an aborted baby in the design, development, production and lab testing.

“If possible, those vaccines should not be used,” the bishops wrote. “If there is no alternative available, however, people may in good faith use them against the serious health risk of COVID.”

A memo obtained by Catholic News Service said:

“Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine involved the use of cell lines that originated in fetal tissue taken from the body of an aborted baby at any level of design, development or production,” the two prelates said. “They are not completely free from any connection to abortion, however, as both Pfizer and Moderna made use of a tainted cell line for one of the confirmatory lab tests of their products.

“There is thus a connection, but it is relatively remote,” they continued. “Some are asserting that if a vaccine is connected in any way with tainted cell lines, then it is immoral to be vaccinated with them. This is an inaccurate portrayal of Catholic moral teaching.”

Author: Jacob Hall