Vaccines and foetuses (23/7/2005)
One of the lies told by anti-vaccination liars is that the ingredients used in vaccines include parts of aborted foetuses. One of the materials used in the manufacture of rubella vaccines is a cell line derived from a legal abortion carried out in 1962. This is a tissue culture, very many generations removed from its source, and could only be considered aborted foetal tissue in the minds of people with, well, no minds at all. It is used to grow the organisms used to create the vaccine and is as much an ingredient of the vaccine as the acid used to prepare the sheet steel before pressing into body panels is a part of a car. None of these facts are of interest to anti-vaccination liars, of course, as their objective is to find anything which can possibly be used to frighten parents out of vaccinating their children.
In 2003 the anti-vaccination liars joined forces with the anti-abortionists to request a ruling from the Catholic Church about this use of the products of abortion, with the obvious expectation that they would receive an immediate knee-jerk condemnation of the practice and would therefore be able to threaten vaccinating parents with an eternity in Hell. What really happened was that the Church spent a long time considering the matter and talking to scientists and people who might know what they are talking about. The Pontifical Academy for Life has just released its findings. No, the Church does not like the use of anything to do with abortions and recommends that alternatives be sought, but that doesn't mean that Catholics can't vaccinate their children. This is how the ruling finished:
To summarise the summary, it says that while the Church does not like it, in the absence of any alternative it is permissible for Catholics to continue to vaccinate their children because of the overarching responsibility for the welfare of children. That is what the words "morally justified as an extrema ratio due to the necessity to provide for the good of one's children and of the people who come in contact with the children" mean. And are the anti-vaccination liars lying about this? Of course they are. That is what they do. The Australian Vaccination Network issued a media release with the deceptive title 'Vatican says, "Parents must oppose vaccines from human foetal remains"'. Other liar sites have similarly misrepresented the Church's ruling.
Yet another person wrote to me during the week trying to claim that the anti-vaccination liars are not opposed to vaccinations. That person was mistaken. There is nothing that is too evil for these people to do in the pursuit of their deranged objective of placing every child in the world at risk of death or serious injury. It is almost incomprehensible to sane people that anyone could hate children so much.