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(LifeSiteNews) — In this episode of The John-Henry Westen Show, I will unearth the horrifying and brutal truth behind fetal cell lines in vaccines.

Some time ago I did a show with Pamela Acker, the vaccine researcher who gave up her PhD for her conscientious refusal to work with stem cell lines created on the backs of aborted babies. She is likely the most well-read researcher on the planet regarding vaccines, and yet many took it upon themselves to besmirch her reputation after our interview. Mostly because she noted that in order to achieve the stem cell lines most commonly used today, the cost was not only the lives of hundreds of preborn babies, but most especially because she noted that the babies were alive at the time of the extraction of the fetal organs from which the stem cell lines were derived. Thus, it is with vivisection of preborn babies, not just abortion, that we derived the human stem cell lines from which we have all the COVID vaccines in America.

All the currently available COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. use fetal stem cell lines, particularly HEK-293, in the following ways:

  1. It was used, along with other human cell lines, to develop a genetically engineered spike protein (that the mRNA vaccine codes for) in the original development stage of the vaccine.
  2. The mRNA Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine were tested on HEK 293 before they began human trials. This testing is ongoing for all new batches. 
  3. The “old technology” Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines (used in Canada and the U.K. only) grew a weakened viral strain in HEK 293 cell culture, which was then sifted and refined before use, leaving only tiny cell components and DNA debris of the aborted baby. 

Melissa Strickler, the Pfizer whistleblower, was able to share emails that revealed the use of HEK-293 in tests for the Pfizer vaccine. Moderna and Novavax use the HEK-293 cell lines for their tests while the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines use aborted fetal cell lines in both production and testing. The Charlotte Lozier Institute has an entire list of vaccines with details about their ethical nature, and I encourage you to check it out.

HEK-293 is a human cell line created using a kidney from a dissected Dutch unborn baby girl in the Netherlands by the team at Leiden University between 1972 and 1973. It is the second-most common cell line and is used extensively in “pharmaceutical and biomedical research.” It is also used in vaccine creation and cancer research. HEK stands for “Human Embryonic Kidney” and the 293 stands for the number of experiments it took the Canadian researcher, Frank Graham, to genetically engineer the cells to grow indefinitely in an artificial environment.

What you must notice, however, is that though HEK-293 uses the term “embryonic,” that baby girl whose kidney was extracted for this purpose was not in the embryonic stage at all, which ends at eight weeks. She was much older in gestational age in order for her to be dissected to secure functioning kidney cells. The man in charge of the research was Dr. Alex Jan Van der Eb, who when questioned by the FDA in 2001 about the origins of the HEK-293 stated:

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.

Notice how he says the “fetal” kidney material and not the “embryonic” kidney material? The abortion was performed on a baby who was perfectly healthy and normal.

The purpose of this show is to lay bare before you the truth of the fetal cell lines used in vaccines and research.

A common argument in favor of vaccines using fetal cell lines is the erroneous claim that these are cell lines from miscarriages and therefore we pro-lifers need not worry about it. Children of God for Life has a brilliant article about this, and I’m going to draw a few pointers from there to explain that this argument deserves no place in dialogue.  

It is important to understand the biological process of miscarriage and stillbirth and post-mortem changes at the cellular level in order to understand the impossibility of taking cell lines from a miscarriage. An early pregnancy miscarriage is usually caused by a variety of chromosomal abnormalities, in which case an embryo does not form and what tissue is expelled would be of no use to one attempting to establish a cell line. The other causes of miscarriage and stillbirth result in the demise of the embryo or fetus, and this demise precedes the expulsion of tissue by several days to a few weeks. The temperature of the expired fetus in the womb is about 37 degrees Celsius, and by the time the fetus is expelled, there is no metabolic function anywhere in the body and decomposition of the cells has already advanced. It is not possible to establish a living cell line from a dead tissue and therefore we can rule out the possibility of creating cell lines through the fetuses that have died through miscarriages. Such considerations are a ruse, unworthy of scientific debate. 

Furthermore, one also needs to understand how exactly the extraction of these organs takes place in order to see clearly that it must be through a type of abortion rather than any sort of miscarriage.  

Dr. C. Ward Kischer, embryologist and Emeritus Professor of Anatomy writing in the Linacre Quarterly, the oldest bioethics journal in the United States, said:

The truth is that dead tissue would do nothing. The transplant must contain living cells, and the only way to ensure that is to obtain them from living fetuses.

And in an interview with Debra Vinnedge of Children of God for Life, he spoke specifically of harvesting cells from aborted babies for creation of stem cell lines for vaccines:

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.

Not only is it important to preserve the tissue within five minutes of the abortion, but the researchers also take care to pick and choose the fetus for research. When we assess the WI-38 cell line this becomes very clear. Answering questions about WI-38, the lead researcher in the U.S., Leonard Hayflick, confirmed that his colleague in Sweden, Dr. Sven Gard, had carefully chosen the unborn baby based on its health. Writing in a medical Q&A paper, he stated:

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.

These carefully-chosen babies are then dissected under specific conditions. For the organs to be at “optimal viability,” the child needs to be dissected and organs extracted within 5 minutes of delivery. And that’s not all.  

A research paper from the University of Toronto dated June 1952 states, “No macerated specimens were used and in many of the embryos the heart was still beating at the time of receipt in the virus laboratory.”

Dr. Ian Donald, the pioneer of the ultrasound scanner, claims to have witnessed the WI-38 dissections conducted at the Karolinska Institute. He described them this way:

Experiments were being performed on near-term alive aborted babies who were not even afforded the mercy of anesthetic as they writhed and cried in agony, and when their usefulness had expired, they were executed and discarded as garbage.

This is all done without anesthesia to not change the cellular activity of the organs the researcher wants to obtain. Without anesthesia on these little babies! Meaning the baby can experience the excruciating pain. In fact, not only do they experience pain, but research suggests that the neural mechanisms that inhibit pain sensations do not begin to develop until 34-36 weeks, and are not complete until a significant time after birth, meaning the fetus is “hyperresponsive” to pain. This is cruel and inhumane and completely unimaginable, and yet evidence suggests it is sadly true.

And this is not just a thing of the past. Anti-abortion activists from groups including Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, Pro-Life San Francisco, and Rehumanize International gained access to the largest and most active fetal organ bank in the nation located at the University of Washington in Seattle in early March of this year. This photograph of the freezer, taken on March 9, shows the rows of bodies and parts labeled and kept in bags. The University of Washington continues to distribute and traffic the body parts and whole cadavers of unborn children at a rate that surpasses any other known institution in the United States.

David Daleiden, founder and president of The Center for Medical Progress, in a press release dated August 2021, stated:

The NIH grant application for just one of the University of Pitt’s numerous experiments with aborted infants reads like an episode of American Horror Story. Infants in the womb, some old enough to be viable, are being aborted alive and killed for organ harvesting, in order to bring in millions of dollars in taxpayer funding for Pitt and the Planned Parenthood abortion business it supports.

Pitt advertises several points to NIH for why Pitt will be the best location for a “distribution hub” for supplying large numbers of aborted fetal body parts to NIH researchers, focusing on Pitt’s “over 18 years of experience” collecting body parts from aborted babies. Chillingly, Pitt announces that “ischemia time is minimized.” What is ischemia time, you may ask? Well, according to the NIH, warm ischemia time is “the time a tissue, organ, or body part remains at body temperature after its blood supply has been reduced or cut off but before it is cooled or reconnected to a blood supply.” If the fetus’ heartbeat and blood circulation continue in a labor induction abortion for harvesting organs, it means the fetus is being delivered while still alive and the cause of death is the removal of the organs.  

Can you believe that? These are not claims made by us. Every single piece of horrifying evidence I’ve just placed before you has been admitted by researchers themselves. None of these cell lines are secured through miscarriages — rather, they are all abortions, they are vivisections where the preborn child is picked based on health and family disease history, they are alive when their organs are ripped apart, their hearts are beating when they are being dissected, they are not administered anesthesia and their cause of death is the inhumane removal of their organs.  

A delivery by caesarean section or hysterectomy is the abortion “par excellence” for fetal tissue harvesting. A 1982 review of a history of tissue donation affirms this:

Fetal tissue for transplantation must be “harvested” within a few minutes of delivery. Ideally this is by hysterectomy, with the fetus delivered in utero. Drugs which reduce fetal physiological activity need to be avoided. The fetus is therefore in as alive and aware a state as possible when being opened.

More modern methods, like in the creation of cell line WalVax 2 in 2015 in China, involved inducing a birth and keeping the baby in its own amniotic sac or ‘water bag’ until the moment of dissection. The creation of the WalVax 2 was possible through the abortion of a 3-month-old female fetus from a batch of 9 aborted fetuses in 2015 in China. Yes, it required the killing of 9 babies — and this is 2015, not the 1970s!

Finally, to the argument that it was only one baby way back in the 1970s and so what’s the big deal anyway…

It is true that the only available information regarding the HEK-293 cell line is that it was taken from an aborted healthy baby girl in the Netherlands in the 1970s. However, that does not mean that only one baby was aborted in the process of the creation of the HEK-293 cell line. Why do I say this? 

Well, Christian Hacking of the Centre for Bioethical Reform UK states in his article:

We know that in the creation of WI-38, 32 babies were killed and dissected. Add in the additional experiments to get the rubella virus and subsequent experiments to test it, and the total comes to 99 unborn babies killed. We also know that at least 5 babies were killed in the production of MRC-5 in 1970 and 9 babies in the production of WalVax 2 in 2015.

Therefore, while it is unlikely that 293 unborn babies were dissected in the production of HEK 293, experts such as Pamela Acker suggest it was over 100.

The vivisection and abortion of these innocent babies is an inhumane crime that comes only from the devil. Our Lord Jesus taught us that the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. This sacrifice of babies on the altars of fake gods is not new. There’s nothing new under the sun, and baby sacrifice and murder was present in the Old Testament days, too.

Up and down the Bible we see Yahweh condemning the Israelites for their sacrifice of babies to false gods. Choice 42 has a brilliant video about child sacrifice and abortion, and I encourage you to watch it. We never heard the cries of the babies in the olden days while they were sacrificed to the various pagan gods of rain, wealth, and so on. Even today we don’t hear the cries of the babies while they are butchered for our false gods of wealth, honor, power, and pleasure. When Our Lady first appeared to Juan Diego in 1531, the Aztec culture was still steeped in bloodthirsty paganism. According to Aztec scholars, at the height of their empire, the Aztecs sacrificed tens of thousands of victims every single year. Children were routinely among the victims. It was through Our Lady of Guadalupe that Mexico was reconquered for Christ our King. Our Lady is both Virgin and Mother. Satan hates Our Lady and so he attacks that which she stands for: purity and motherhood.  

Listening to this whole account must be horrifying and could lead us to despair while we wonder what we could do. There is a beautiful practice begun by Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen. He gave us a simple prayer to pray when we spiritually adopt a baby in danger of abortion. I invite each and every single one of you watching this show to start this practice. It’s very simple. God knows which babies are in danger of being aborted and cruelly murdered for research. We can spiritually adopt one baby in danger of vivisection and abortion, name the baby and pray for the baby every day for 9 months with this small prayer: “Jesus, Mary & Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of the unborn baby who I have spiritually adopted, who is in danger of abortion.”

In faith, we believe that God will save the babies we have spiritually adopted. Isn’t that amazing!

The John-Henry Westen Show is available by video on the show’s YouTube channel and right here on my LifeSite blog.

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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.