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Which came first, the vaccine or the fetal tissue?

Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America.
Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America. | Courtesy of Kristan Hawkins

The COVID crisis has led to some strange headlines and media gotcha moments, including reporting on whether aborted fetal tissue and broken infant body parts were used in developing a vaccine with insinuations that pro-life people should then reject it. Early coverage claimed that requiring humane efforts that didn’t turn aborted infants into research fodder would delay a cure, followed now by accusations that pro-life people are hypocrites for considering a treatment that may be tainted by abortion. 

This back and forth leads to the under-reported questions in this discussion: Does it matter whether Planned Parenthood and other abortion vendors trade in aborted infant human remains for research and experimentation? Does it matter what happens to the broken bodies of aborted infants? Does it matter that people try to justify this horrific practice by claiming some good might come of it? 

For pro-life people concerned with the ethics of abortion and the humanity of both mother and preborn child, the answer is yes, which is why the Center for Medical Progress went undercover to show the world how Planned Parenthood and their partners where handling some of human remains from abortions, including even harvesting organs while aborted infants’ hearts were still beating.

When the CMP videos were first released in 2015, the mainstream media’s general response was minimal, followed by fawning coverage of the Planned Parenthood party line. The videos showed doctors and sales people casually discussing the dissection and sales of the infant remains with documents outlining the infrastructure of the gruesome business, all the way to invoices revealing things like Planned Parenthood charging body part shoppers  $55 per “usable” organ.

The legal response to this is included Kamala Harris using her position as then California Attorney General to go after citizen journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt rather than investigating Planned Parenthood. Her misuse of power was continued by Xavier Becerra who took her place in office and filed 15 felony charges against the journalists. This abortion warrior has now been nominated by Joe Biden to head up the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, where he could continue misusing the power of his office to favor abortion. Over the holidays, Planned Parenthood was awarded a judgement of more than $13 million to cover their legal costs. Meanwhile, a Department of Justice investigation of Planned Parenthood seems to be going nowhere

Now that’s outrageous. 

But the real political irony is that while reporters generally ignore the fact that records indicate such trafficking continues, pro-life people have been pressed to answer whether it’s ok to take a vaccine that may have included aborted infant tissue. 

First things first, the majority of the COVID vaccines were not created with human tissue from abortion as companies developed a potentially life-saving product.  In a fascinating report, the researcher team at the Charlotte Lozier Institute detail that of the 8 current vaccines under review, more humane options are available.

I would have a moral objection to getting a vaccine created with tissue taken from an aborted infant when there are other options available. As a Catholic, I support the position of my church, which has said that when lives are at risk and no other options are available, vaccines can be used “in good conscience.” 

Still, it’s been clear that many people have used the COVID crisis as an opportunity to further divide Americans and weaponize politics in every setting, vaccines included. As a mother with two children who have cystic fibrosis, I know how deadly a lung infection can be and am offended by those who are destabilizing efforts to protect lives by forcing a controversy over the vaccines.

Too many of those raising these issues don’t care about whether aborted infant tissue was used in research. They don’t care that evidence indicates this practice continues. Their goal is simply to undermine pro-life people, especially pro-life politicians, for working to find a solution to the COVID crisis that may have come in contact with the abortion industry’s inhumane, side business … which they don’t condemn at all.

True concern over the use of aborted infant tissue in research should include outrage over the nation’s number one abortion vendor harvesting and selling those infant remains. True concern over this deadly market should include calls for humanely achieved cell lines so that no one has to choose between their consciences and their lives or the lives of their family. 

So yes, many so care whether abortion vendors peddling human remains tainted research and vaccines and will look for humanely created treatments. But Pro-Life people also care that the media turns a blind eye to this on-going tragedy until they want to mock pro-life concerns. 

Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America, with more than 1,225 chapters on college and high school campuses in all 50 states. Follow her @KristanHawkins or subscribe to her podcast, Explicitly Pro-Life.

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