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Of the many claims made by anti-vaxxers, we have to admit this one is new to us: A group that opposes both abortion and vaccinations insists that California needs to keep its vaccine exemption for "personal and religious beliefs" because if it doesn't, then children of good decent Christians will be forced to get injected with aborted baby parts! It's now something of a moot point, because the California Senate passed the bill Thursday, although it's still not clear whether Gov. Jerry Brown will sign it.


The group, "Children of God for Life," is pretty sure that "aborted fetal DNA in vaccines" causes autism, and as we all know, it doesn't have to be true as long as it's a sincerely-held belief. And they are very, very upset that an advocate of Senate Bill 277, which would end the religious exemption from mandatory childhood vaccination, has blatantly lied about the ugly truth: Vaccines are made of people! Or at least pre-people!

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During debate on the measure, state Sen. Richard Pan, a pediatrician, said it was a "myth" that vaccines contain cells from aborted fetuses, but Debi Vinnedge, the executive director of Children of God for Life, insisted that he should know better, because vaccines are just stuffed with aborted-baby DNA!

So, what's the real dealio? Turns out that vaccines actually are made with aborted babbies! Or a least, sort of: The FDA says that the rubella vaccine, which is part of the MMR vaccine that prevents measles, mumps, and rubella:

[It] is cultured in “WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts” obtained more than 50 years ago from a legally and electively aborted fetus.

They were used to create a cell line that has multiplied many times to produce cells of a consistent genetic makeup and used to grow live viruses for use in vaccines, said the pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck.

So, yes, 50 years ago a cell line was started from tissue that came from an aborted fetus. And since cell lines can be kept growing endlessly, some of the DNA from that fetus is maybe still present in the cells being grown today. But no, nobody is going out and having abortions to make vaccines today, as Merck explained:

"These cell lines are now more than three generations removed from their origin, and we have not used any new tissue to produce these vaccines," the company added in its statement.

But, but, but! If you get a vaccine, then you're still participating in an abortion 50 years ago, aren't you? Maybe, just as you might be breathing oxygen molecules that Hitler breathed! Dr. Paul Offit, director of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's vaccine education center, explains that it's a stretch to say vaccines contain any appreciable amount of "fetal tissue":

"There are perhaps nanograms of DNA fragments still found in the vaccine, perhaps billionths of a gram," he said. "You would find as much if you analyzed the fruits and vegetables you eat."

ZOMG! Start the petition and the GoFundMe now: stop eating Abortion Fruit! Also, we should add that there is no evidence that dead fetuses get into your vaccines after chewing their way out of ladies' innards.

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Children of God for Life (For Life, L'chaim!) was also very cross with Sen. Pan for suggesting that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Palpatine, said the rubella vaccine was morally acceptable, when in reality, Pan had relied on "an opinion article that was certainly not from the Pope." Not that Pan was actually wrong, mind you. The Vatican's 2003 statement on vaccines -- which was issued in reply to questions Vennedge herself had raised about morally "tainted" vaccines -- does indeed conclude, after a lot of cannon-law hemming and hawing, that good Catholics can vaccinate their kids against rubella without being serial fetus-murderer. Yes, it's morally squicky that the vaccine is grown in cells derived from an abortion, the Vatican says, but since rubella is a terrible disease, then go ahead, say a prayer, and vaccinate your babbies, but also protest and demand that pharmaceutical companies find a way of manufacturing that doesn't rely on cell lines from a fetus aborted half a century ago. We are Not a Bishop, but that's how we read the document. So yes, even Mean-Pope-Before-Nice-Pope did sign off on rubella vaccines, though not without a scowl. Also, we think Kevin Smith could get a movie script out of that Vatican document -- a comedy about abortion, based on a Vatican discussion of vaccines, sounds like box office gold to us.

As a Recovering Catholic, Yr Dok Zoom can sort of grok the theological point of the Children of God For Life and Christian Jesus, Yay God Extra Virgin Mary: if every sin that we commit today adds to Christ's agonies on the cross 2000 years ago -- WHICH THEY DO -- then it also makes sense getting vaccinated makes you complicit in an abortion that occurred 50 years ago. If Gov. Brown signs SB 277 into law, we're sure the time-travel abortion claim will get rolled out when the Sincere Believers challenge the law in court. Maybe we can get Henrietta Lacks to testify.

[Mercury News / RawStory / ChristianNewsWire / ABC News]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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