Momma wants to know: Chickenpox vaccine and abortion?

Life issues in the news

KIm Ketola

Kim Ketola

Heard from a caring momma who’s a Cradle My Heart Radio listener, looking for help on the ethics of the chickenpox vaccine. Should she have her kiddos vaccinated given that the vaccines were created using cell lines from aborted fetuses? Her Christian pediatrician agreed that there is a dilemma. The FDA has acknowledged that abortion was involved in the harvesting of those cells, and the CDC notes the abortions were elective, but not carried out with the intent to produce the vaccines. Momma listener’s doc advised that the risks to her child and ultimately to public health outweigh the ethical concerns of using morally tainted vaccines.

I said we have to take care not to use the utilitarian logic that the babies were already aborted so let some good come of it. That represents a line of thought rejected at the Nuremberg trials where Nazi research as put forever on the shelf as ill-gotten and therefore completely unacceptable.

But Michigan Right to Life provides a morally permissible basis for using the vaccine (details, including a comprehensive chart of all vaccines involved here). Parents and societies have an obligation to prevent disease in their individual children and in the greater society. When no ethical alternative exists, many religious and ethical leaders have agreed that using the tainted vaccine is morally permissible. And the same group agrees that parents may morally object on reasons of conscience. Consider this:  Life Notes from Michigan Right to Life says, “The further away the current act (using a vaccine) and intent (protecting a child from a disease) of an individual are from a previous immoral act (aborting a child), the less that individual is restricted by the immorality of the previous act. While the act of aborting the child was certainly immoral, all of the steps involved with the development and use of the vaccines thereafter did not cooperate with the abortion.” Some experts say the original fetal fragments of DNA are indeed infinitesimal.

Have you wrestled with this in your family? What did you decide and why?

The big takeaway: John 1:3 says that through Christ all things were made. Children yet to be born were made by Our Lord, and thus are His creations. We each should seek the Lord’s guidance in deciding how to keep our children healthy. And we should speak up and press for ethical vaccines.  If you are troubled by the loss of a child to abortion and thoughts about what happened to their remains, you can find peace in your heart through faith in Jesus Christ. Please reach out today for your resources for help and healing.


Cradle My Heart, Finding God’s Love After Abortion provides affirmation and hope after abortion from the Scriptures. Here are more resources for help and healing. If you are pregnant and need free, confidential help call 1-800-712-HELP. If you’ve had an abortion and need immediate help call 1-866-482-LIFE. Join us on Cradle My Heart Radio. Call 1-800-811-3003 LIVE from 9:30-10 pm ET Sundays on Faith Radio or voicemail 24/7. Ask a question at kim @ kimketola. For a list of radio stations or for live streaming, go here. Podcast on iTunes and archived here.

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