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(LifeSiteNews) — As you all know, LifeSiteNews has taken a very clear stance on the use of abortion-tainted vaccines, that is, those shots which have used aborted fetal cells in their production and or testing

This position has been going on for years and we have continued it even more recently concerning the abortion-tainted COVID so-called “vaccines.” We have also been reporting on the use of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 and for complications arising from the vaccines.

But in recent weeks, we’ve seen a list circulating among Catholics; a list of medical products that are supposedly tainted by the evil of abortion, just like these COVID vaccines — specifically by the fetal cell line HEK-293, which was derived from an abortion in 1973. 

This list includes various everyday medicines, and also COVID treatments such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. 

Let’s leave aside, for now, the moral debate over abortion-tainted vaccines.  

Let’s leave aside myocarditis, spike proteins, mRNA, increased car crashes, blood clots, strokes, and all the other health issues associated with these rushed so-called vaccines and gene therapies which have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of vaccine recipients.

Let’s leave aside the Great Reset, vaccine passports, and all this stuff. 

Let’s just focus on this one claim, that ivermectin and various everyday medicines make use of aborted fetal cells in the same way as the COVID shots.  

It is obvious what the compilers of this list are trying to do: “You accept these medicines,” they say to us and others. “And yet you are making a fuss about the vaccines. You are hypocrites.” 

Well, let’s take a look at the evidence presented in this list, for these claims.  

Perhaps the most shocking claim is that HEK-293 cells were used in the production of ibuprofen — a widely-used painkiller invented in 1961. But is this true? 

The 2018 study cited in the list as proof for this claim is called “The Effect of Aspirin and Ibuprofen on the Proliferation of Cervical Cancer Cells Compared to Non-Cancerous Cells (HEK 293) in Cell Culture Medium.”

What a mouthful! But let’s break this down. 

This is a study by an academic working in Hungary and Iran. This academic was researching the effects of aspirin and ibuprofen on two types of cells: cervical cancer cells and HEK-293 fetal cells.  

We’re not given a specific page number — so you and I, non-medical professionals, we’re just expected to believe that a 10-page academic study, with an irrelevant title, and seemingly behind a paywall, is all about proving that ibuprofen was produced with aborted fetal cells? All of it? 

I’m sorry, but this makes no sense. Without a proper quote, a proper page reference, or something more specific, I see no reason to think anything other than that this study is about treatments for cervical cancer, not ibuprofen.

And even if it was about testing ibuprofen with fetal cells, perhaps because some independent scientists somewhere were speculating on a link between it and cancer, how is this comparable to preparatory tests necessary to bring the drug to market?

Anyway, remember that ibuprofen was discovered in 1961. How could it have been developed using fetal cells from an abortion in 1973 or be tainted by such independent research in 2018? 

Our position of conscience is based on whether the drugs in question were developed using cells derived from abortions. It is not based on whether random teams of scientists, decades later, decide that they want to do immoral tests using these medications. 

In the case of development or preparatory tests, the medicine might not exist without the immoral use of these cells, and that’s the point. But if other scientists independently do this sort of research years later, this is totally different.

What a misunderstanding of our position, what a false parallel, and what a failure of logic.

“Okay,” you might say. “They included one bad reference. But the rest of the list stands.” Let’s see.

Penicillin was discovered in 1928 and is one of the most common antibiotics, and this too appears on the list. You might be asking yourself again, how could a medicine discovered in 1928 have used HEK-293 cells from an abortion in 1973? This is a good question, but perhaps there is an answer. Perhaps it is made differently today? Yes, perhaps. Let’s see what evidence we’re given for this. 

The 2017 study provided here — conducted by the American Heart Association — investigates whether penicillin causes risk of sudden heart problems and “cardiac death.” This study did indeed use fetal cells.

But again: What do tests done in 2017 have to do with a medicine that has been around for decades, and which was developed long before HEK-293 even existed? Remember, the claim here is that the fetal cells were used “in the development” of the examples given. 

This list gives another study regarding antibiotics — let’s see what that says. The list presents an article as evidence that amoxicillin, discovered in 1958, used HEK-293 cells in its development. Same problem of timing here. 

And in fact, this article is about developing aluminum membranes for the delivery of various medicines. It does mention HEK-293 five times, but not in any context that would suggest that it was used to develop this antibiotic. The study isn’t even about amoxicillin. It’s just one of the medicines used to test these membranes.  

So once more, not relevant at all. That’s two more faulty footnotes. What’s going on here? One faulty reference could be a mistake. Two would be careless. What should we say of three? Is there some agenda behind this list? 

COVID-19 medications 

Let’s move on again and look at the COVID-19 medications mentioned. Here the claim is different: Instead of saying that these medicines were developed using fetal cells, this list merely claims that these medications “are connected to the use of [the] HEK-293 cell line.” It highlights hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin. 

It’s interesting that it only claims that they are “connected” to these cell lines. Here at LifeSiteNews, we know that an earlier version of this list (which is still circulating in some places) actually claimed that these medications “are produced with fetal cell lines used in the process.”  

So already we can see there is some shifting around here.

What does this euphemistic term “connected” mean in this context? If we weren’t on our guard already, from what we have seen so far, we might assume that it means that the medications contain or were developed with aborted fetal cells.  

But let’s look at the evidence this list gives us. Let’s start with hydroxychloroquine. 

Hydroxychloroquine came into recent public consciousness as an anti-COVID drug early in the lockdowns. It’s an anti-malarial medication and was first approved by the U.S. in 1955 — so once again, we can’t help wondering how such an old drug could be “connected” with fetal cell lines from 1973.

But like I said: Perhaps there are new ways of producing this drug that involve these immoral means. What does the evidence provided say? 

Well, the 2016 study cited is investigating whether hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can lead to sight problems. And it is true that these scientists — associated with the American Pharmacists Association — carried out their experiments using HEK-293. 

Which of course we deplore. But … is this even really “a connection” to hydroxychloroquine itself? Is it relevant to its production or development?

No, it isn’t. It’s independent research carried out by independent scientists.

So once again: another irrelevant footnote and another faulty reference. What is going on with this list?

This is not how debate works. If the compilers of this list want to make claims like this, they need to back them up with direct quotes or specific page references — not just point to highly technical texts like this and say, “It’s in there somewhere,” and expect us to be overawed by all the scientific jargon. 

So, we are now at four faulty references, four footnotes that fail to provide any clear evidence that the accused medications used aborted fetal cells in their production.

Given how unreliable this list has proved so far, how reliable do we think it will be about ivermectin? 

Ivermectin was discovered in 1975 and licensed for medical use in 1981. We don’t need to go into the fact that it’s been described as a “wonder drug” or that its inventors were both given the Nobel Prize for it in 2015, or even enter into the question of whether it affects COVID-19. Let’s stay focused on whether fetal cells were used in its production.

Well … we’re off to a bad start, when we see that the study provided was again by a German university, and decades after the medicine was brought to market. 

The study itself looks at ivermectin and cell receptors. It mentions HEK cells 24 times, but at no point does it even suggest that ivermectin was produced with fetal cell lines. Once again, an independent team of scientists — not the manufacturers or developers — decided to do some research related to ivermectin in an immoral way, and we are expected to believe that this contaminates the medication itself.

Once again, this list makes a claim — the fifth now — about a medication and fetal cells, a claim which is not supported by the reference given.

It makes you wonder, how was this list of references produced?  

Did someone use a search engine, searching for the names of common medications with the word “HEK-293” added in, and take the references without checking them? Were we, non-doctors, supposed to see all the medical jargon and assume that the footnotes checked out? 


Look, we just want to do the right thing here. We don’t know everything, and we are trying to conform our minds to that which appears to us to be the natural law and sound moral principles.  

We know that the COVID vaccines under question, and other medical treatments, either contain aborted fetal cells, or were developed in these cell lines, or essential preparatory testing was done using such cells. This is what we mean by saying they are tainted by abortion.

But if independent groups of scientists decide to do their own research projects on these medications — sometimes decades later — and they decide to use abortion-derived cells, this is a completely different matter. 

Of course we deplore it. But it’s not like an independent team of researchers somehow taints the medication itself.  

Imagine a powerful global bakery chain which developed a secret sauce to make all its products and the secret sauce intentionally included the blood of a murder victim. Imagine if that bakery found that people were objecting to its products because their secret sauce used to make those products were tainted with the blood of a murder victim. Imagine then if that bakery ‘fixed’ their problem by using airplanes to douse all crops on earth with their secret sauce, thus making all food tainted with the blood of the murder victim. 

Of course we would not be boycotting all the crops of the earth, and of course we’d be boycotting the bakery with a vengeance. And we may even try to grow new crops in a greenhouse safe from the contamination efforts of the bakery.  

In exactly the same way we will never concede to the abortion-tainted COVID jabs which were manufactured using aborted fetal cell lines. We deplore that these cell lines are used ubiquitously to test other products which did NOT use them in their development. We can’t boycott all these products but we can and should protest the unethical testing, and we can and should try to find ethically tested products that did NOT use aborted fetal cells in their development.

There are some truths — like the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, or that God is a Trinity of persons — that we know are certain, and can never be doubted. There are other things, like the obligation to avoid abortion-tainted medical products, which are based on moral reasoning, applied to contingent facts. 

In life, we must always be open to the truth and to reality, and to follow the arguments where they lead.  

I hope that we will all always allow ourselves to be convinced by true arguments and facts, even if that makes us change our minds about things.  

But do you know what won’t convince us?  

Lists of scientific journals, with jargonistic titles, presented to the lay public, intending to make those holding our conclusion look bad, but which prove on inspection to have nothing to do with it at all. 

And all this just goes to show that we should be cautious before believing things we read on the internet or even in Catholic magazines. And like they say, “Always read the footnotes.”

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John-Henry is the co-founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne have eight children and they live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout the world. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum, an annual strategy meeting for life, faith and family leaders worldwide. He is a board member of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family. He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization. He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.