"Vaccines and their ingredients: You may be surprised (as I was!) to learn that aborted human fetal tissue is an ingredient in many mainstream vaccines. Take a look and make an informed choice about these issues from now on."I have read anti-vaccine information before. It seems that many of the natural birth, home birth, whole foods, homeschooling, etc. crowd are also anti-vaccine, and I was interested by the idea although I had not done much research. Then, this past week, Jenny McCarthy spoke about the MMR vaccine and her ideas about it causing her son's autism. I was curious, did some research on MMR and autism, and told Joe yesterday that I wanted to consider not giving it to Charlie. But nothing prepared me for the information I read today.
I thought that surely this idea that vaccines were made from aborted babies must just be the latest right-wing rumor making its way around the internet. So, I clicked her link and was brought to an anti-vaccine website that contained a table showing the ingredients in different vaccines. I chose one that I recognized and think that my boys have gotten: Varivax. The chart says it contains (among other things) "human diploid cells from aborted fetal tissue." What!?
Still not convinced and since there are so many rumors going around out there, I went to the manufacturer's website and found the prescribing information for Varivax. The first paragraph that describes how the vaccine is made says:
"The virus was initially obtained from a child with natural varicella, then introduced into human embryonic lung cell cultures, adapted to and propagated in embryonic guinea pig cell cultures and finally propagated in human diploid cell cultures (WI-38). Further passage of the virus for varicella vaccine was performed at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) in human diploid cell cultures (MRC-5) that were free of adventitious agents."
I still didn't believe what I was reading and called Merck (880-672-6372) to hear it directly from them. After only a minute or two punching the right numbers on my phone to get to a service representative, Stacey answered. I described going online and finding the prescribing information, and then I asked my question.
"Where did you get the human embryonic lung cells?"
"I will be happy to find that answer for you, Mrs. Holland. Can you hold, please?"
Stacey placed me on hold and when she picked back up, it was obvious that she was reading a scripted answer.
"Thank you for holding, Mrs. Holland. The cells cultured for this and other vaccines were approved by the FDA for use in vaccine development from an aborted fetus from 30 years ago...."
I really didn't hear much after she said "aborted fetus." Nothing else that she said mattered. I do remember her emphasizing the "30 years ago" part, as if profiting from a death that took place a long time ago made it less heinous. I ended the call politely and went and found Joe and told him what I had learned with tears in my eyes.
I have spent the remainder of my free moments of time (stolen in between the normal work of day to day life) pulling up article after article. Apparently, many vaccines were developed using embryonic stem cell lines derived from aborted babies. They actually know in the case of some of the stem lines, what baby it came from (a boy or girl and it's gestational age) and the situation around the abortion! I had no idea! I am still just in shock and feel so deceived. I hate the horror that is abortion and have wept before at the magnitude of its evil. But, I never before today realized that I have ever done anything to support it.