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Abby Johnson Instagram / screenshot

December 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Well-known pro-life advocate Abby Johnson has blasted the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for “cowering to Big Pharma” by endorsing abortion-tainted Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

Johnson, who converted to Catholicism in 2013, also accused the bishops of “talking out of both sides of their mouth” by saying that abortion is evil, but that it is “okay” to take an abortion-related vaccine if there are no ethical alternatives available, all while exhorting Catholics to lobby for ethical alternatives.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) document “Moral Considerations Regarding the new COVID-19 Vaccines,” released on December 14 cites the “gravity of the current pandemic and the lack of availability of alternative vaccines” as “sufficiently serious” reasons to accept the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines “despite their remote connection to morally compromised cell lines.”

The bishops added that doing so is “an act of love of our neighbor and part of our moral responsibility for the common good.”

In an Instagram video post, Johnson slammed the bishops on a number of counts.


“I have a real problem with the USCCB coming out and saying that that, you know, there is a distant connection between abortion and some of these vaccines that we are injecting into our bodies, as if that makes the abortion acceptable,” said Johnson, whose conversion from a Planned Parenthood abortion facility director to pro-life advocate was dramatized in the movie Unplanned.

The bishops “talk out of both sides of their mouth because they say, well, abortion is evil and we should not compromise with evil, but I guess it’s okay in this situation,” and at the same time they tell Catholics to lobby for ethical alternatives.

Johnson quoted the USCCB document: “Failure to adequately protest and or to demand alternatives to these vaccines can contribute to moral complacency on this critical issue. This can encourage people to continue to justify and to benefit from the destruction of human life via elective abortion.”

But the fault is with the bishops for not taking an unequivocal stand, she said.

The reason why pharmaceutical giants haven’t stopped using aborted fetal cell lines in vaccine development is “because the leadership of the Catholic Church is too cowardly to stand up and say no more. That’s why it hasn’t happened,” contended Johnson.

“And I am so sick of the USCCB cowering to Big Pharma, cowering to liberals, and allowing us and allowing our children to be guinea pigs, and to … allow our children to be injected with these vaccines that have dead children in them,” she said.

“As long as the largest religious organization in the world, the Catholic Church, continues to require the laity to protest while the leadership accepts these vaccines borne on the backs of aborted babies, as long as they require the laity to be the ones to protest while the leadership falls in line like a bunch of sheep, Big Pharma will continue to ram these research protocols through,” asserted Johnson.

“And they will continue to use aborted fetal tissue in testing and production because we don’t have a voice. The laity don’t have a voice.”

She also disputed the distinction the bishops made between COVID-19 vaccines tested on an aborted fetal cell line, and those produced or developed using such a cell line.

“That’s ridiculous. If abortion was used in any part of the manufacturing or production of this vaccine, the Catholic Church, especially in all Christians, should be saying, no, we don’t want any part of it,” Johnson said.

The USCCB document stated that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which the FDA approved for emergency use last week, and the Moderna vaccine, which is reportedly on track for FDA emergency use approval this week, were neither designed, developed, or produced using fetal cell lines, but were tested using the “morally compromised HEK293 cell line,” which was derived from a baby aborted decades ago.

“Thus, while neither vaccine is completely free from any connection to morally compromised cell lines, in this case the connection is very remote from the initial evil of the abortion,” the bishops said.

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PETITION UPDATE (12/16/2020) - 

Operation Warp Speed—the HHS’s program to accelerate the development, manufacture, and distribution of COVID-19 therapeutics—has spent billions of our tax dollars to bring a COVID vaccine to market.

Now, the FDA has granted emergency approval to roll out the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and people in the UK and the US are already receiving it.

Though the Pfizer vaccine was not designed or produced using aborted fetal cells, it was tested using the HEK293 fetal cell line to create humanized mice.

And, more unethical vaccines are reaching the finish line and are being funded and promoted by the HHS with our tax dollars.

We must continue to demand that this stop and that a fully ethical vaccine be brought to market instead!

SIGN and SHARE our petition with the Personhood Alliance to demand that the HHS stop using our money to support the grisly connection between abortion and biomedical science.


Operation Warp Speed—the HHS’s program to accelerate the development, manufacture, and distribution of COVID-19 therapeutics—is spending billions of our tax dollars to bring a COVID vaccine to market as quickly as possible.

Now, two of the Operation Warp Speed vaccines (one created by Pfizer/BioNTech and one created by Moderna/NIH) are nearing the finish line, soon to be applying for emergency FDA approval for mass distribution.

And, while LifeSite neither advocates for or against voluntary vaccination, there are several apparent problems with the vaccines being fast-tracked by HHS’ Operation Warp Speed.

First among the vaccines’ major problems: they were tested using aborted fetal cells.

Please SIGN and SHARE LifeSite’s urgent petition with the Personhood Alliance to demand that the HHS stop funding and promoting this unethical practice, and bring a fully ethical vaccine to market instead.

The production and testing of vaccines that use the remains of aborted children, regardless of when they were killed and at what point they were used in the process, is morally unacceptable and must be consistently opposed by the whole pro-life movement.

And, although the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were not designed or produced using aborted fetal cells, the Personhood Alliance recently reported that the vaccines’ testing phases used the HEK293 aborted fetal cell line to create humanized mice.

This stomach-churning practice transferred immortalized cells from a child killed in 1973 into mouse embryos, so that when the mice were born, they had tiny human lungs that researchers infected with COVID to test the vaccines.

This type of Frankenscience has no place in a civilized society, certainly not one whose citizens are forced to fund it!

Sign our petition with the Personhood Alliance to demand that the HHS stop supporting the grisly connection between abortion and biomedical science.

We can make a difference if we raise our voices together, but we’re running out of time!

Thank you for SIGNING and SHARING this urgent petition today!


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However, in the case of Moderna, the bishops’ document contradicts the Children of God for Life, which states that Moderna “extensively” used the “aborted fetal cell line HEK-293 … in numerous patents in the fundamental design of mRNA technology and in the original vaccine research, development, production and testing.”

The bishops state that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is “more morally compromised” because the HEK293 aborted fetal cell line was used in its development and production, “and so this vaccine should be avoided if other alternatives available.”

However, if “one does not really have a choice” and if refusing the AstraZeneca vaccine would lead to “lengthy delays in immunization,” then it is morally permissible to take the vaccine, the USCCB document said.

Johnson expects to be criticized for “going against the bishops,” she said.

“Well then so be it, because the USCCB has flown the coop a long time ago,” she said, adding that their credibility took a hit when they congratulated Joe Biden “an actively pro-abortion person,” on “being the president elect,” she said.

“And then they send out a letter saying it’s acceptable for us to inject ourselves and our children with vaccines that are borne off the backs of aborted babies tells me that they have absolutely no credibility and that we should not be listening to them,” Johnson added.

“Catholics, you know better and you know what the Magisterium of the Catholic Church says, and it says that we should never cooperate with evil, we should never cooperate with abortion.”

This was echoed by Cardinal Janis Pujats, Archbishop Tomash Peta, Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga, Bishop Joseph E. Strickland, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, who last week released a joint statement opposing the use of abortion-linked vaccines in all circumstances.

“Any link to the abortion process, even the most remote and implicit, will cast a shadow over the Church’s duty to bear unwavering witness to the truth that abortion must be utterly rejected,” they stated, adding that the “ends cannot justify the means.”

The prelates also criticized statements from other bishops seeking to justify the use of abortion-linked vaccines on the basis of “remote and material cooperation” as “extremely anti-pastoral and counterproductive, especially when one considers the increasingly apocalyptic character of the abortion industry, and the inhuman nature of some biomedical research and embryonic technology.”

Meanwhile, a number of experts, including former Pfizer senior researcher Michael Yeadon, are contesting the need for COVID-19 vaccine, and raising significant concerns about the safety of the fast-tracked products.

LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here.


US bishops endorse abortion-tainted COVID vaccine: ‘an act of love of our neighbor’

On the moral illicitness of the use of vaccines made from cells derived from aborted human fetuses

Pfizer COVID jab warning: No breastfeeding, avoid pregnancy for 2 months, unknown fertility impacts

Research scientist warns coronavirus vaccines have ‘terrible safety record’ historically