Fetal Cell Lines

Fetal cell lines are used in the development of certain vaccines, as a growth medium in which to culture the virus.  After the virus is multiplied in the cell medium, scientists attempt to isolate the virus.  However, residual components of the fetal cell lines, including DNA and proteins, are still present in the vaccine.

The fetal cells are taken from fetuses terminated in an elective abortion.  In order to keep the fetus intact for optimal cell recovery, the abortion is scheduled at a specific gestation, with techniques designed to preserve the tissues.  The most common fetal cell lines are derived from fibroblasts taken from lung, kidney, eye, or liver tissue.


Which vaccines use fetal cell lines? 

The vaccines that are developed using aborted fetal cell lines can be found here.

An overview of the 10 fetal cell lines used most commonly in vaccine research and development can be found here.

Click below for more details on three of the fetal cell lines.

Walvax-2 (developed in 2015)

MRC-5 (developed in 1966)

WI 38 (developed 1962)

An Ethical Dilemma

The fact that vaccines are developed can be a difficult ethical dilemma for pro-life or religious individuals who are reluctant to use a product made possible by access to abortion.  

The Pontifical Academy for Life addressed this issue in a letter here, discussing the ethical dilemma from a Catholic perspective.  It allows the use of fetal cell line vaccines under extreme circumstances, but describes the situation as "morally coercive" because there is no ethical alternative available.

The Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research also analyzes the most recent fetal cell lines here.  It accuses researchers of "Failure to use alternative cell strains that would obviate the intentional destruction of human beings."

A detailed history of vaccine development using aborted fetuses can be found here.

For individuals who choose to use vaccines derived from fetal stem cell lines, but morally object to the situation and demand an ethical alternative, here is a form letter you can fill out and send to doctors, legislators, and vaccine manufacturers to express your displeasure.   (Coming soon)