Pro-life groups looked into several vaccine developers which reportedly used cells derived from aborted fetus in their testing and production of coronavirus vaccines.
According to Breitbart, pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute's (CLI) analysis on COVID-19 vaccines supported by Operation Warp Speed found that majority did not use abortion-derived cell lines in their production process.
"Unfortunately," CLI interjected, "some vaccine developers have unnecessarily put American families in a difficult position by choosing to use controversial human fetal cell lines in production or testing, or by a lack of transparency."
In their follow up report in March, CLI provided a quick reference chart detailing their evaluations. Among the vaccine candidates they assessed were reportedly produced by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Sanofi/GSK, Inovio, and Merck. Out of the eight, two vaccines did use fetal cell lines. Those were under the sponsorship of Astrazeneca & Univ. Oxford, and Janssen and Johnson &Johnson
"Many developers already opt to use animal cell lines, non-fetal human cells, yeast, or chicken eggs instead," said the institute. "We urge all developers to avail themselves of these options going forward. Doing so will reduce vaccine hesitancy for those who oppose the use of fetal cell lines, thereby increasing the public health impact of the vaccine."
In light of the report, Pro-Life U.S. Bishop Chairmen issued a statement in December addressing moral and ethical concerns about the use of vaccines. While they gave an allowance for the consideration of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, they found the AstraZeneca vaccine to be "more morally compromised" and that it "should be avoided" given the availability of other alternatives.
The bishops, however, cautioned Catholic devotees to remain "on guard so that the new COVID-19 vaccines do not desensitize us or weaken our determination to oppose the evil of abortion itself and the subsequent use of fetal cells in research."
On the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which had been approved in the U.S for use, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann said in the joint statement that if given the ability to choose, recipients must choose other vaccines.
Following a pause by federal health agencies in the rollout of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, the Archdiocese of New Orleans advised parishioners to choose either Moderna or Pfizer in place of the former.
Breitbart noted Reuters report on Jake Sargent of Johnson & Johnson claim that their vaccines do not have "aborted fetal DNA." The report also provided an explanation on the necessity of using fetal cell lines in "the development, confirmation or production process of making vaccines - including the COVID-19 vaccine."
The report added that the fetal cell lines used by Johnson & Johnson were taken from the "retinal cells of an 18-week-old fetus aborted in 1985" and not from recent abortions.
Speaking on the moral acceptability of receiving such vaccines, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians, the Catholic Medical Association, and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations explained in a joint statement that Americans will not question their use if all approved vaccines were "fully ethical from development to production."
"Respect for life is foundational, and the exploitation of the unborn for vaccine production is a violation of basic human rights," they said.