The Truth About Aborted Babies And Vaccines

I’ll be honest, I’m tired of seeing so-called “science” blogs claiming there is no aborted fetal DNA in vaccines (which is an outright lie). Before we address that contentious issue though, let’s take a look at why, and what, aborted fetuses are used in current vaccine production.

Many viral vaccines are produced through the use of human cell lines, in order to cultivate sufficient quantities of the virus (the virus needs to be cultured on living cells in order to replicate). These cell lines were procured from aborted fetuses.

There are currently two cell lines used in the production of widely-available vaccines. These two cell-lines are known as  WI-38 (Wistar Institute 38) and MRC-5 (Medical Research Council 5) [1-2].

WI-38 was developed from the lung tissue of a 3-month-old female fetus, in 1962 [3]. The reason given for abortion was that the parents felt they already had too many children [2].

MRC-5  was developed in 1966, from lung tissue of a 14-week male fetus, aborted for ‘psychiatric reasons’ [4].

The term “psychiatric reasons” raises some interesting questions, as women who were deemed to be “feeble-minded” were still coerced into being permanently sterilised in the 1960’s.

This practice had become legal in the US, through state laws in the early 1900’s. These laws were encouraged and promoted by the newly-formed Eugenics Record Office, as part of their “Master Race Project”. Their stated goal was to stop so-called “defective parents” from reproducing [5]. Eugenicists saw abortion and sterilization as the answer to preventing “degenerate babies” [6].

During the following decades, as the race for a polio vaccine, and other medical research demanded tissue cultures, abortion methods were even altered in order to harvest the fetal tissue immediately following abortion.

One such method was a hysterotomy abortion – major abdominal surgery, much like a caesarian section – wherein the fetus is physically removed from the amniotic sac. This procedure was “only done in special circumstances such as when sterilization is required in addition to the termination of pregnancy, as in the case of cardiac disease, diabetes, TB or mental disease”[7].

It is not known exactly how many aborted fetuses were used to develop the polio vaccine, but at least 80 abortions were involved in production of the WI-38 cell line, and subsequent rubella vaccine [8]. At least two aborted fetuses were used in the procurement of MRC-5 cell line, but it is likely there were more [8].

What else is unknown is whether the abortions were performed under duress or coercion or if, in fact, the mothers were even aware of what the fetuses would be used for.

Remember that at the time in the early 1960’s, when organs from aborted fetuses were sent to the Wistar Institute, no-one had as yet invented the concept of informed consent. I am absolutely convinced that there is no remaining documentation about the fetuses used from the Department of Virus Research at the Karolinska Institute at the time. I was head of this department between 1971 and 1997. Thus in case there is no documentation that allows identification of fetal samples at the Wistar Institute, there is no way of tracing them. In fact, I do remember the time well , because we as graduate students made the dissections collecting organs [9].”

In other words, the documentation surrounding these abortions have been conveniently “lost” or mislaid over the years, so we have no way of knowing the true story.

Fast forward to 2012, with increasing demand for cell cultures due to biomedical research and increasingly vigorous competition to bring new vaccines to market, the FDA announced that “the current repertoire of cell substrates is inadequate to manufacture the next generation of viral vaccines (i.e., certain viruses cannot be propagated or grow poorly in the available cell lines)[10].”

So, in 2015, a new cell line was procured from a female fetus in China [11].

This cell line was taken from a 3-month-old female fetus , supposedly aborted due to the “presence of a uterine scar” from previous Ceasarian section in the healthy, 27-year-old mother[11].

Up until this point, the wider public seemed blissfully ignorant to what was being carried out in laboratories around the world. That changed in 2015,  when there was public uproar over social media, with the release of undercover footage showing Planned Parenthood officials talking about the prices that aborted baby parts are sold for. Despite public criticism, scientists maintained that aborted fetal tissue was necessary for medical research [12].

There are other cell lines from aborted fetuses that are currently being used in vaccines still in the development and testing stages – HEK-293 and PER C6.

PER C6 is a tumorigenic cell line taken from an 18-week fetus, aborted because “the woman wanted to get rid of the fetus, and the father was unknown” [8].  As per the FDA, “tumorigenic refers to the ability of neoplastic cells growing in tissue culture to multiply and develop into tumors when injected into animals” [13].

Well, what could possibly go wrong?

These cells are called “designer cells”, because they were known to be normal originally, but were then purposely transformed into immortal cell lines (so they replicate “indefinitely”), via known mechanisms, such as introduction of viral oncogenes. These so-called “designer cells” are perceived by authorities to be safer than cell lines which spontaneously immortalized for unknown reasons [13].

Another cell line currently being used to develop influenza vaccines, is HEK-293, which originally came from the kidneys of an aborted baby [14].

At a meeting of the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee in 2001, Dr. Alex van der Eb, who was involved in the production of HEK-293, is quoted as saying [13]:

“So the kidney material, the fetal kidney material was as follows: the kidney of the fetus was, with an unknown family history, obtained in 1972 probably. The precise date is not known anymore. The fetus, as far as I can remember was completely normal. Nothing was wrong. The reasons for the abortion were unknown to me. I probably knew it at that time, but it got lost, all this information.”

In his work on the ethics of HEK-293, Wong (2006) refers to comments made by Dr C Ward Kischer Ph.D, a leading authority in the field of human embryology [15]:

From a clinical standpoint, the abortion must be pre-arranged in order to have researchers available to immediately preserve the tissue…. In order to sustain 95% of the cells, the live tissue would need to be preserved within 5 minutes of the abortion. Within an hour the cells would continue to deteriorate, rendering the specimens useless.”

This leads us to the horrifying, but necessary, question…

What exactly is meant by “live tissue”? Could it be that the aborted fetus is still alive while its organs and tissues are being harvested?

There seems to be very little confirmation or denial from official sources, but Dr Gonzalo Herranz, Professor of Histology and General Embryology, at the University of Navarra, Spain, describes how abortions should be performed when fetal tissue is to be harvested [16]:

To obtain embryo cells for culture, a programmed abortion must be adopted, choosing the age of the embryo and dissecting it while still alive to remove tissues to be placed in culture media”.

Now, the truly pedantic try to weasel their way around this moral dilemma by saying:

“But There’s No Aborted Fetal Cells Left In The Finished product…”

Actually, that is not true. There are still DNA fragments in the final vaccine.

From the FDA: : “Small amounts of residual cell substrate DNA unavoidably occur in all viral vaccines, as well as other biologics produced using cell substrates” [17].

In 2015, research revealed that DNA fragments from aborted fetal cell lines were in at least two vaccines – Meruvax II (live rubella vaccine) and Havrix (live Hepatitis A vaccine). These were found to contain both single-stranded and double-stranded DNA [18].

And then we move on to the other moral argument…that our conscience can rest easy because:

The fetuses used in vaccines were aborted decades ago, and no new fetuses are being used”.

Well, that may indeed be the case. However, the field of vaccine and biomedical research has a growing and incessant demand for new fetal tissue and fetal organs.

Take, for example, research on vaccine-strain viruses, using SCID-hu mice [19]. What are SCID-hu mice, you ask? They are a class of mice that have been genetically-engineered to be severely immunocompromised, then they have human fetal tissue grafted into them. Sometimes they have entire human organ systems transplanted into them, for the purposes of medical research [20].

The true extent of trading in aborted fetal parts on a global scale is hard to ascertain. In 2014, in the U.S alone, the NIH funded $76 million for research projects using aborted fetal tissue [21]. The research area most funded, was in the field of HIV/AIDS…coincidentally, the same field where a furious race is currently underway to bring a vaccine to market.

FYI: Vaccines which are cultured on fetal cell lines are Adenovirus, DTaP-IPV/Hib (Pentacel), Hep A (Havrix), Hep A/Hep B (Twinrix), Measles-mumps-rubella (MMRII), Measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (ProQuad), Varicella (Varivax) [22].

PS: The above article is a small excerpt from the book I am currently working on. If you’d like to be kept up-to-date with news and other interesting things I come across in my research, please sign up to the newsletter . As a bonus, I’ll send you a free PDF “99 Reasons Why I Choose Not To Vaccinate”.


[1.]L. Hayflick, The Limited In Vitro Lifetime of Human Diploid Cell Strains, Experimental Cell Research, March 1965, vol.37, no. 3, pp. 614-636.

[2] G. Sven, S. Plotkin, K. McCarthy, Gamma Globulin Prophylaxis; Inactivated Rubella Virus; Production and Biological Control of Live Attenuated Rubella Virus Vaccines, American Journal of Diseases of Children, August 1969, vol. 118, no. 2, pp.372-381.

[3] Coriell Institute for Medical Research. Accessed February, 2017.

[4] Coriell Institute for Medical Research. Accessed February, 2017.

[5] Wilson PK. Harry Laughlin’s eugenic crusade to control the ‘socially inadequate’ in Progressive Era America. Patterns of Prejudice, 2002, 36 (1): 49–67.

[6] James H. Marsh, Eugenics: Keeping Canada Sane, The Canadian Encyclopedia.

[7] Weller TH, Enders JF, Robbins FC,  Stoddard MB. Studies on the Cultivation of Poliomyelitis Viruses in Tissue Culture : I. The Propagation of Poliomyelitis Viruses in Suspended Cell Cultures of Various Human Tissue, J Immunol, 1952, 69(6):645-671.

[8] Leiva R. A brief history of human diploid cell strains, Nat Cath Bioethics Quart, 2006, 443-451.

[9] E Norrby, email reply to  R Leiva in Leiva R. A brief history of human diploid cell strains, Nat Cath Bioethics Quart, 2006, 443-451.

[10] FDA. Briefing document: Cell lines derived from human tumors for vaccine manufacture, Vaccines and related biological  products advisory committee meeting, 2012. Accessed February, 2017.

[11] Ma B, He LF, Zhang YL, et al. Characteristics and viral propagation properties of a new human diploid cell line, Walvax-2, and its suitability as a candidate cell substrate for vaccine production, Hum Vaccin Immunother, 2015, 11(4): 998-1009.

[12] Binkley C, Johnson CK. Scientists say fetal tissue essential for medical research, Associated Press, Aug 11, 2015. Accessed February, 2017.

[13] FDA Center for Biologics and Evaluation and Research Advisory Committee Meeting, May 16, 2001. Accessed February, 2017.

[14] Le Ru A, Jacob D, Transfiguracion J, et al. Scalable production of influena virus in HEK-293 cells for efficient vaccine manufacturing, Vaccine, 2010, 21(7): 3661-3671.

[15] Wong A. The Ethics of HEK 293, Nat Cath Bioethics Quart 6.3, 2006, 473-495.

[16] Croce P, Vivisection or Science – a choice to make, Fetal Experimentation-Over the top; Part 1, p. 99-108.CIVIS, 1991, Hans Ruesch Foundation.

[17] FDA. Cell lines derived from human tumors for vaccine manufacture, Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting, September 19, 2012.

[18] Deisher TA, Doan NV, Koyama K, Bwabye S. Epidemiologic and Molecular relationship between vaccine manufacture and autism spectrum disorder prevalence. Issues Law Med. 2015; 30(1): 47-70.

[19] Moffatt JF, Zerboni L, Kinchington P, et al. Attenuation of the vaccine Oka strain of Varicella-Zoster virus and role of glycoprotein C in alphaherpesvirus virulence demonstrated in the SCID-hu mouse, J Virol, 1998, 72(2):965-974.

[20] McCune JM. Development and applications of the SCID-hu mouse model, Semin Immunol, 1996, 8(4):187-196.

[21] Wadman M. The truth about fetal tissue research, Nature, 2015, 528: 178-181.

[22] CDC: Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary, Accessed February, 2017.