Aborted Fetal Cell Line Products

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Aborted Fetal Cell Line Products are products that have been made using aborted fetal cell lines. Products include vaccines, drugs and cosmetics.


Below is a summary from Right to Life of Michigan regarding how aborted fetal cell lines are used to create vaccines:[1]

The vaccine process works by collecting samples of the actual virus, then growing and altering them in the laboratory to make a weakened strain of the disease. The weakened strain is put into a serum and administered into the body (usually by injection). The body’s immune system is more capable of attacking and destroying the weakened virus, and thus develops the ability to effectively fight off the actual disease should the person ever be exposed to it.'

In order to develop the weakened viral strain, there must be a medium or “cell culture” to grow it in. The virus invades the culture cells, feeds off the cell, matures, and multiplies. The cell cultures are a single type of cell that multiplies itself in a predictable fashion and can be sustained in a laboratory setting for years, even decades. These long-lasting cell cultures are called “cell lines.” The original cells that start these cell lines have been taken from a wide variety of sources, from monkey embryo and kidney cells, to chicken and rabbit embryos, and tragically, from aborted human babies. The issue of concern is that many common vaccines were developed using cell lines that originally were cells taken from electively aborted babies. The vaccines themselves do not contain fetal cells, but it is presumed that there is “residual” biological matter from the fetal cells that has been assimilated into the vaccine.


There following three fetal cell lines have been used in vaccine development. They are named according to the laboratory facilities where they were developed. The below information is provided via Right to Life of Michigan:[1]


One cell line is known as WI-38, developed at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, PA. The other is MRC-5, developed for the Medical Research Council in England. WI-38 was developed by Dr. Leonard Hayflick in 1962, by taking lung cells from an aborted female baby at approximately the end of the third month of pregnancy. Dr. Hayflick’s article published in the journal Experimental Cell Research states that three cell lines, WI-26, WI-38, WI-44 were all developed from aborted babies. “All embryos were obtained from surgical abortions and were of approximately three months’ gestation.”[2] Dr. Stanley Plotkin, who developed a Rubella vaccine using WI-38, addressed a question at an international conference as to the origin of WI-38. Dr. Plotkin stated:[3]

“This fetus was chosen by Dr. Sven Gard, specifically for this purpose. Both parents are known, and unfortunately for the story, they are married to each other, still alive and well, and living in Stockholm, presumably. The abortion was done because they felt they had too many children. There were no familial diseases in the history of either parent, and no history of cancer specifically in the families.”


The origin of the MCR-5 cell line, created in 1966, is documented in the journal Nature by three British researchers working at the National Institute for Medical Research. They wrote, “We have developed another strain of cells, also derived from foetal lung tissue, taken from a 14-week male foetus removed for psychiatric reasons from a 27 year old woman with a genetically normal family history and no sign of neoplastic disease both at abortion and for at least three years afterward.”[4] Noting that their research parallels that of Dr. Hayflick’s development of the WI-38 cell line, the researchers conclude, “Our studies indicate that by presently accepted criteria, MRC-5 cells—in common with WI-38 cells of similar origin—have normal characteristics and so could be used for the same purposes as WI-38 cells.”[4]


There is a more recent cell line, PER C6, developed in 1985, which is being used currently in research to develop vaccines to treat Ebola and HIV. The origin of PER C6 is clearly documented. In direct testimony before the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, Dr. Alex Van Der Eb, the scientist who developed PER C6, stated:

“So I isolated retina [cells] from a fetus, from a healthy fetus as far as could be seen, of 18 weeks old. There was nothing special in the family history, or the pregnancy was completely normal up to the 18 weeks, and it turned out to be a socially indicated abortus, abortus provocatus, and that was simply because the woman wanted to get rid of the fetus.”[5]

Currently several vaccines using the PER C6 cell line are in development. Undoubtedly the cells used to establish PER C6 came from a healthy baby, aborted from a healthy mother for social convenience reasons. While many of the common childhood vaccines used today were developed using the WI-38 and MRC-5 fetal cell lines, there are some vaccines available that were developed using animal cell lines. The tables on the following page indicate all U.S. abortion-tainted vaccines, and the available alternatives.


Below is a list of vaccines known to have been made using aborted fetal cell lines - and their ethical alternatives. Information is provided by Sound Choice and is current as of June 2014.[6]

Disease Product Name Manufacturer Fetal Cell Line Ethical Version Manufacturer Cell Line
Acute Respiratory Adenovirus 4,7 Oral Barr Labs WI-38 None N/A N/A
Chickenpox Varivax Varilrix Merck GSK WI-38 MRC-5 None N/A N/A
Cystic Fibrosis Pulmozyme Genentech HEK-293 N-acetylcysteine, Hyper-sal Various N/A
Hemophilia rhFVIII, rhVIX Octapharma HEK-293 Advate, Kogenate Baxter Hamster
Hepatitis A Vaqta, Havrix Merck, GSK, MRC-5 Aimmungen Kaketsuken Vero (monkey)
Hepatitis A Avaxim, Epaxal Sanofi, Berna MRC-5 Not available in US (Japan & Europe) Vero (monkey)
Hepatitis A & B Twinrix GSK MRC-5 Engerix Hep-B Only GSK Yeast
Hepatitis A & Typhoid Vivaxim Sanofi MRC-5 Recombivax Hep-B Only Merck Yeast
Infection prevention G-CSF Octapharma HEK-293 Neupogen Amgen E-coli
Measles/Mumps/Rubella MMR, Priorix Merck, GSK RA273, WI-38 None in US N/A N/A
Measles-Rubella MR Vax, Eolarix Merck, GSK RA273, WI-38, MRC-5 Attenuvax (Measles Only) Merck Chick embryo
Mumps-Rubella Biavax II Merck RA273, WI-38 Mumpsvax (Mumps Only) Merck Chick embryo
Rubella Meruvax II Merck RA273, WI-38 Takahashi (Not in US) Kitasato Institute Rabbit
MMR + Chickenpox ProQuad/MMR-V Merck RA273, WI-38, MRC-5 None N/A N/A
Polio Poliovax, DT PolAds Sanofi Pasteur MRC-5 IPOL, IMOVAX® Polio Sanofi Pasteur Vero (monkey)
Polio Polio Sabin (oral) GSK MRC-5 IPOL, IMOVAX® Polio Sanofi Pasteur Vero (monkey)
Polio Combination (DTaP + polio+ HiB) Pentacel, Quadracel Sanofi Pasteur MRC-5 Pediarix + HiB, Pediacel Infanrix Hexa + HiB IPOL + any DTaP + HiB Sanofi, GSK Vero (monkey)
Rabies Imovax Sanofi Pasteur MRC-5 RabAvert Novartis Chick embryo
Rheumatoid Arthritis Enbrel Amgen WI-26 VA4, Hamster Humira, Cimzia, Orencia Abbott, UCB, BMS Hamster
Shingles Zostavax Merck WI-38, MRC-5 None N/A N/A
Smallpox Acambis 1000 Acambis MRC-5 ACAM2000, MVA3000 Acambis/Baxter Vero (monkey)


The following drugs were produced using aborted fetal cells and/or containing aborted fetal DNA, proteins, or cellular debris:[7]

  • Biologics for Sepsis:
    • Xigris (Eli Lilly) (withdrawn)
    • Drotrecogin alpha (activated)
  • Biologics for cystic fibrosis:
    • Pulmozyme (Roche/Genentech)
    • Dornase Alpha


The following cosmetics were produced using aborted fetal cell lines and/or containing aborted fetal DNA, proteins, or cellular debris:[8]

  • Bio-Gel (NeoCutis)
  • Journee (NeoCutis)
  • Bio-Serum Intensive Treatment (NeoCutis)
  • Bio-Restorative Skin Cream (NeoCutis)
  • Lumiere (NeoCutis)
  • Prevedem (NeoCutis)

External Links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Right to Life of Michigan: Vaccines, Abortion & Fetal Tissue (accessed on Aug. 6, 2014)
  2. L. Hayflick et al., “The Limited In Vitro Lifetime of Human Diploid Cell Strains,” Experimental Cell Research 37, (1965): 615.
  3. “Gamma Globulin Prophylaxis; Inactivated Rubella Virus; Production and Biological Control of Live Attenuated Rubella Virus Vaccines,” American Journal of Diseases of Childhood 118, no. 2 (1969): 378.
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.P. Jacobs et al., “Characteristics of a Human Diploid Cell Designated MRC-5,” Nature 227 (1970): 168 - 170.
  5. Transcript of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, hearing date 16 May 2001, 91.
  6. Children of God for Life: USA & CANADA - ABORTED FETAL CELL LINE PRODUCTS AND ETHICAL ALTERNATIVES (June 2014) (accessed on Aug. 5, 2014)
  7. Sound Choice: Drugs (accessed on Aug. 5. 2014)
  8. Sound Choice: Cosmetics (accessed on Aug. 5, 2014)