You asked, we answered: The ethics of vaccines
A Secular Pro-Life supporter who shall remain anonymous wrote to us in search of advice.
Dear Secular Pro-Life,
Hey! Love the cause! I have a big, conflicting question which I believe affects many with our pro-life beliefs.
I recently had newborn twins and am starting the process of immunizations but am at a crossroads. The Hep A, measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox vaccines contain fetal stem cells collected from abortions. I’m not worried about not giving the chicken pox or rubella because it’s rare to die from them and I am okay with the possibility of my children having them… but I’m scared as Hep A and measles are much more dangerous and can be deadly. I don’t want to potentially endanger them by not giving them such a readily available shot but my gut says no. Especially since vaccines don’t always work. I’m conflicted.
As much as I love my babies, I don’t think I can give it to them in good conscience. “To save my baby’s life, I’ll support the death of another…” It just doesn’t seem right to me. I was wondering if maybe you could pose a question about this so maybe I could see more perspectives. Not about vaccines as a whole, as that is so widely debated, but just those originating from abortions. Thanks!
Dear Concerned Mother,
Thanks for writing in. Vaccines do not contain fetal stem cells; however, fetal remains from abortion victims were used in the development of certain vaccines, and that gives many parents pause.
As you ponder the ethics of this situation, please factor in that vaccines not only protect your children from illness, but also help prevent the spread of disease and thus protect others in society—including people with certain disabilities and babies who are too young to be vaccinated. (This is the concept sometimes called “herd immunity.”) If a pregnant mother contracts measles, the virus can cause a miscarriage or stillbirth. There are lives on both sides of this equation.
The preborn lives lost in connection with unethical vaccine development cannot be brought back, and refusing the vaccine will not stop any future abortions. In my humble opinion, the moral weight is in favor of vaccination. Of course, this is something you should discuss first and foremost with your doctor.
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