God Wants You to Vaccinate Your Kids

February 10, 2015 11:10 AM

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For some Christians, it's the origin of the MMR vaccine that makes things morally murky. The rubella portion (the "R") was developed in the 1960s using stem cells from aborted fetuses in an effort, ironically enough, to save other fetuses: Rubella at the time was sweeping parts of Europe and the outbreak had come to America. Women infected during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy develop congenital rubella syndrome, which can cause mental retardation, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), deafness, heart disease, and other dangerous birth defects in the developing infant. Many of those women chose to terminate their pregnancies.

A doctor at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia isolated the virus from a rubella-stricken fetus. Another Wistar doc extracted cells from a different aborted fetus to develop the cell line that is now used to culture a weakened strain of rubella for the vaccine. (For more on how vaccines are made, ...

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