Clarence Thomas cites debunked claim Covid vaccines are developed using cells of ‘aborted children’

Clarence Thomas cites debunked claim Covid vaccines are developed using cells of 'aborted children' 2
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Clarence Thomas cites debunked claim that Covid vaccines are developed using cells of ‘aborted children’ in opinion on case challenging New York state’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers

  • Clarence Thomas suggested Covid vaccines are developed using cells of ‘aborted children’ 
  • Cells obtained from elective abortions decades ago were used in testing during the Covid vaccine development process, a common practice in vaccine testing
  • None of Covid-19 vaccines in the US contain the cells of aborted fetuses
  • Conservative justice’s statement came in a dissenting opinion on a case in which the Supreme Court declined to hear a religious liberty challenge
  • Case challenged NY’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate from 16 health care workers
  • The state required that all health care workers show proof of vaccination
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Justice Clarence Thomas expressed support for a claim that has long been deunked  – that the Covid vaccines were made from the cells of ‘aborted children.’

It came during a decision by the Supreme Court to not take up a legal challenge by New York health care workers who had been opposed to the state’s vaccine mandate on the basis of religious grounds.

Thomas, cited the argument put forward by the plaintiffs writing that the health care workers ‘object’ to the state’s vaccine mandate ‘on religious grounds to all available COVID–19 vaccines because they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children.’

It is not true the Covid vaccines were made using fetal cell lines and they do not contain any aborted cells. 

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Clarence Thomas suggested Covid vaccines are developed using cells of ‘aborted children’

Clarence Thomas suggested Covid vaccines are developed using cells of ‘aborted children’

Vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna had used fetal cell lines early during Covid vaccine development to test the efficacy of their formulas. 

The fetal tissue that was used in such processes was from elective abortions that occurred decades ago.

The cells used have since replicated many times over and none of the original tissue was used in the making of such modern day vaccines. 

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Lawyers for New York State noted how such lab-grown stem cells, which had originally been derived from the cells of a fetus almost 50 years ago, had also been used in the testing of the rubella vaccine.  

The vaccines contain genetic material that instructs cells to make proteins, known as messenger RNA which trains the immune system to fight off the coronavirus.

Cells obtained from elective abortions decades ago were used in testing during the Covid vaccine development process, a common practice in vaccine testing

Cells obtained from elective abortions decades ago were used in testing during the Covid vaccine development process, a common practice in vaccine testing

They vaccines also contain fats known as lipids that help RNA cross cell membranes, together with salt, sugar and substances used to help stabilize the ingredients. 

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But Justice Thomas together with Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, cited the debunked claim.

New York’s requirement for government employees to be vaccinated came into force in August with the aim of curbing the spread of the latest Covid variant.

It allowed for exceptions on medical reasons or religious objections, although that was later removed.  

New York’s Governor Kathy Hochul, who is a Roman Catholic said that she was not aware of any ‘sanctioned religious objection from any organized religion’ noting that religious leaders including the pope were urging people to get vaccinated. 

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Sixteen health care workers sued saying they had religious objections because fetal cell lines had been involved in the testing, development or production of the vaccines. 

New York State lawyers said the mandate was similar to previous rules that required health care workers be vaccinated against measles and rubella. 

‘The presence of a single, limited medical exemption to a vaccine requirement does not require the State to provide a blanket religious exemption from vaccination,’ the lawyers said in written submissions.

Why are fetal cells used to make vaccines?

Historical fetal cell lines were derived in the 1960’s and 1970’s from two elective abortions and have been used to create vaccines for diseases such as hepatitis A, rubella, and rabies. 

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Abortions from which fetal cells were obtained were elective and were not done for the purpose of vaccine development. 

The fetal cell lines being used to produce some of the potential COVID-19 vaccines are from two sources: 

● HEK-293: A kidney cell line that was isolated from a fetus in 1973 (undisclosed origin, from either a spontaneous miscarriage or an elective abortion) 

● PER.C6: A retinal cell line that was isolated from an aborted fetus in 1985 

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Any vaccine that relies on these historic cell lines will not require nor solicit new abortions. 

To develop and manufacture some vaccines, pharmaceutical companies prefer human cell lines over other cells because :

1) viruses need cells to grow and the viruses tend to grow better in cells from humans than animals (because they infect humans)

2) fetal cells can be used longer than other cell types

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3) fetal cells can be maintained at low temperatures, allowing scientists to continuing using cell lines from decades ago. 

While fetal cell lines may be used to develop or manufacture COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccines themselves do not contain any aborted fetal cells 

                                        Source: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health 

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