News about vaccine mandates, booster shots, breakthrough cases, and more come at us fast. Policies range from mask and vaccine mandates in schools and businesses, to lockdowns in New Zealand and arrests in Australia. The lack of clarity fuels fears and confusion, and it further divides.
Although Center for Arizona Policy does not take a position on masks or vaccines, we want to help by providing resources and answers to key questions regarding Arizona law, religious freedom protections, and pro-life concerns about the vaccines. Further, we encourage all to respect the decisions made by others on whether or not to be vaccinated.
Relevant Arizona Law
Governor Doug Ducey signed an Executive Order consistent with a new Arizona statute that takes effect September 29.
SB 1824 requires employers mandating COVID vaccines to provide a reasonable accommodation for employees with sincerely held religious beliefs that prevent them from taking the vaccine – unless it would pose an undue hardship or cost to the employer.
The new law also prohibits the state and any city, town or county from establishing a COVID vaccine passport requirement or proof of vaccination to enter a business. Any law or ordinance requiring a vaccine is not enforceable, according to the language of the law.
The law is being challenged in court and therefore its implementation may be determined upon the outcome of that case.
Arizona Attorney General, Mark Brnovich released his opinion on the issue last week determining that under Arizona law, the government cannot mandate COVID-19 vaccines for public employees. This includes schools, public universities, community colleges, and state and local government. It also prohibits the government from mandating vaccines for citizens. However, private businesses can require COVID-19 vaccines for employees, but must allow for reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities or religious beliefs preventing them from getting the vaccine. Attorney General Brnovich expressly stated that his ruling was based on the relevant state and federal laws, not necessarily his own policy opinion.
Regardless of where you work, if you have a sincere religious or medical objection to taking a COVID-19 vaccine, our allies at Alliance Defending Freedom have provided some resources to help you. Click here for more information regarding mandates and other issues pertaining to your rights during the pandemic.
Pro-life and COVID-19 Vaccines
There are many reasons some people choose not to get the COVID-19 vaccinations. Among the top concerns remains a deep pro-life commitment. The use of fetal stem cells in medical research runs contrary to pro-life beliefs, making the use of any treatments or vaccines developed with such fetal stem cells alarming. Unfortunately, it is not a clear-cut issue when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccines, because while some vaccines are created with fetal stem cells, others use newer cells derived from decades old fetal cells. Still, others don’t use them at all in the vaccine, but use the newer cells derived from old fetal cells in laboratory testing of the vaccine.
The pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute recently updated its analysis on the use of fetal stem cells in the COVID-19 vaccines. It includes a chart showing which vaccines used fetal cells and at what point in the process.
Many of us who are pro-life struggle to navigate the benefits of medical advancements and potentially life-saving vaccines without compromising our commitment to protecting God-created life.
When the issue first arose last December, I shared some articles on the subject from reputable thinkers and theologians. I’m sharing some of them again here in hopes they will help you answer the question in your own heart and mind.
Dr. Albert Mohler: “Vaccines and the Christian Worldview: Principles for Christian Thinking in the Context of COVID.”
“…these are self-replicating cell lines used in medical research. The fact is that many of these do go back to tissue taken from aborted fetuses, and there is some involvement, in most of the major COVID-19 vaccines, in the use of these fetal cell lines. Most importantly, what is known as HEK293, and the original cells for that cell line, were taken from tissues that were the result of an abortion of a child back in the Netherlands in the 1960s. The cell line developed about 1972.”
“…we condemn… the use of any tissues from aborted human babies, period. Any tissues taken from aborted fetuses are illegitimate, period.
“…no one who is producing these COVID-19 vaccines had any direct involvement in bringing about the abortion of a single child, whether back in the 1960s or in the present, there is no current involvement.” “…there is no fetal tissue whatsoever in any of the major COVID-19 vaccines, not a bit, that’s encouraging.”
“But at the same time, without the HEK293 line, which does go back to an aborted fetus in the Netherlands, the fact is, we would not have this vaccine. And that’s a tragedy of history.”
“We as Christians would not allow ourselves any direct, rational, understandable, intentional, conscious involvement in tissues that were taken from an aborted fetus if we had any control over it whatsoever.”
Take time to read Dr. Mohler’s entire piece.
The recent release of a third vaccine, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, prompted Mohler to again address the issue. “When you’re looking at the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it becomes very clear that the vaccines were based upon cell lines that were derived back in the 1970s, at least indirectly from the tissues of aborted fetuses, one aborted fetus in particular, one cell line that has become very much interwoven with modern medicine … the cells that were used were cloned from the cells of aborted fetuses. So they are not absolutely direct, but still, we have to recognize that morally there is an indirect, which is not unimportant direction here, or a link between the aborted tissues and the eventual Johnson & Johnson vaccine. And it’s not just in the derivation of the cells that were used in the development of the vaccine, but also the cells that were used in the testing of the vaccine.”
CLI, the research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, has done extensive research. The encouraging news is that their analysis found that a majority of the vaccines did not use the abortion-derived cell lines, including Moderna and Pfizer.
According to their research, neither the Pfizer vaccine nor the Moderna vaccine were produced or developed using aborted-derived fetal cells. Researchers, however, did use cells from aborted-derived cell lines (from the 60s and 70s) to confirm their research. The big take-away here is that, once now confirmed, no additional fetal cells will be needed for the continued creation of the vaccine. There are no aborted-derived fetal cells in the vaccine itself.
Take time to review the CLI showing extensive data on all the vaccines produced with and without these aborted-derived cell lines.
One bioethicist wrote, “Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine poses any significant moral concern. Any moral issues with both are so remote and minor that they should prevent nobody from getting either of them.”
Colorado Catholic Bishops condemn the use of fetal cells in vaccines and any mandate to receive them, though they do not outright forbid Catholics from getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We understand that some individuals have well-founded convictions that lead them to discern they should not get vaccinated … There is a moral duty to refuse the use of medical products, including certain vaccines, that are created using human cells lines derived from abortion; however, it is permissible to use such vaccines only under case-specific conditions—if there are no other alternatives available and the intent is to preserve life.”
CAP has always supported a person’s right of conscience. Everyone should be free to live, work, and raise their families according to their deeply held beliefs. It is incumbent upon us all to make such important decisions based on facts.
- Read here about how the LGBTQ movement inundates culture, it’s effects on younger generations, and what Christians and parents need to know.
- Read here how Democrats in Washington D.C. are pushing the FDA to remove safety precautions on the abortion pill, ignoring the risks to women.
- Breakpoint looks at how the crisis in Afghanistan reveals humanity’s capacity for evil.
Stay connected and consider receiving additional publications by joining the CAP Network.