Abortion and vaccination (and other religious objections to immunizations)

This video is from Dr. Krumbeck’s vaccine education course, Vaccines Demystified.

Before you listen to this video please understand: this video is not meant to judge, comment upon, or endorse any particular faith group or religious belief. At Naturopathic Pediatrics we understand that many families have deep spiritual or religious convictions that may affect the way they want to immunize their child. This video is provided for educational purposes only. Please consult your own faith leader if you have questions about the moral issues regarding vaccination.

Why were vaccines derived from an aborted fetus in the first place?

Regarding abortion, the manufacturing of vaccines now does not require any new aborted fetal tissue. But, the cell lines which are used in the manufacturing of some vaccines are derived from an aborted fetus in 1962. (A “cell line” is a culture of cells in a petri dish. These cells are grown in a laboratory and can replace themselves indefinitely.) The cell lines WI-38 and MRC-5 are the two main cell lines from aborted fetal tissue.

Back in 1962 the technology was not present to make cell lines from other tissues. Embryonic cells already divide rapidly, and the choice was made by scientists to start a cell line from a terminated pregnancy.

What vaccines are produced from embryonic cell cultures?

  • The MRC-5 cell line is associated with Hepatitis A (Havrix and Vaqta), Hep A & B combo vaccine (Twinrix). It is NOT found in the Hepatitis B only vaccine.
  • The MRC-5 cell line is also associated with the Rabies vaccine, and Varicella vaccine.
  • The WI-38 cell line is associated with MMR-II (Rubella component), and Varicella vaccines.

What do faith groups say about the ethics/morals of immunizing using these vaccines?

Both the Christian Medical and Dental Association and the Vatican have issued statements that if no alternative vaccine exists “it is morally permissible to use a vaccine derived from aborted fetal cell lines.” Both of these groups, however, are calling on families to reach out to the manufacturers and to their lawmakers to urge them to have vaccines developed from other sources.

Other religious concerns: use of pork products within vaccines

For those of the Jewish faith or the Islamic faith the use of pork products can be a concern.

There are statements made by faith leaders addressing this concern. For those of the Jewish faith, Rabbi Abraham Adler, BPharm MRPharm S. “It should be noted that according to Jewish laws, there is no problem with porcine or other animal derived ingredients in non oral products. This includes vaccines, injections, suppositories, creams and ointments.”

For those of the Islamic faith, a 1995 seminar convened by the Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences concluded: “Transformation which means the conversion of a substance into another substance, different in characteristics, changes substances that are judicially impure . . . into pure substances, and changes substances that are prohibited into lawful and permissible substances.” This determined that it is considered morally permissible for observant Muslims to receive vaccines containing pork gelatin or to consume gelatin capsules.

What vaccines contain porcine (pork) gelatin?

  • Porcine gelatin is found in: Flumist Influenza, MMR-II, ProQuad (MMR + Varicella combination vaccine), Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis and Varicella Zoster vaccines.

Some religious groups may not agree with the statements made above.

Please be aware that not all religious groups agree, even among themselves. Many have different moral or ethical standards.

Research citations for Abortion  and other religious objections

Rudd, Gene MD.  Is Vaccination Complicit with Abortion? Christian Medical & Dental Associations: Changing Hearts in Healthcare. Opinion statement. Web 12 May 2023.

Pontificia Academia Pro Vita. Pontifical Academy for Life.  Moral Reflections on Vaccines prepared from cells derived from aborted human foetuses.  Web. 18 July 2017.

Collins, Timothy MD. The Vaccination Question. The Angeuls Magazine. Feb 2006.

Vasa R., Euteneuer T., Reese B, et al.  Aborted Fetal Cell Line Vaccines and The Catholic Family. A Moral and Historical Perspective.  Children of God.

Institute for Vaccine Safety. John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Religious Leaders Approval of Use of Vaccines Containing Porcine Gelatin.

John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Allergens. (Vaccine allergen list.) Web 18 July 2017.

Other selected reading:

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I am…
Erika Krumbeck, ND, FABNP
Erika Krumbeck

Dr. Erika Krumbeck is the proud founder and editor of, the leading internet source for trustworthy natural health information for children and naturopathic pediatric providers. She is also the owner of Montana Whole Health, a primary care naturopathic practice in Missoula, MT. She is one of few doctors with the FABNP designation, meaning she is a board-certified pediatric naturopathic physician. Dr. Krumbeck has specialized training in treating chronic conditions in children using safe, gentle and effective natural remedies. She helps bridge the gap between conventional medicine and complementary/alternative medicine by using both new research and traditional naturopathic therapies to guide treatment.


  • Avatar
    Elizabeth Rivera
    August 31, 2023 at 4:02 am

    Very informative and interesting. Thank you for all you do!

  • Avatar
    Chris Tice
    August 30, 2023 at 10:12 pm

    No one has studied vaccines more than the informed consent action network ICAN and you are missing a very important point about religious exemptions. It doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with official faith channels such as saying taking what most call a religious belief about aborted fetal cells. If one simply believes the vaccines are harmful based on their own research, this falls under the religious exemption. This idea was recently upheld in the Mississippi reversal of 40 years of having no religious exemption. BTW aluminum adjuvants are the problem and there is no testing required on this highly toxic substance. If you would like, I can share information that exposes the whole vaccine schedule. IVAN is leading the fight. You should hear Aaron Siri’s deposition with Stanley Plotkin. As an atheist, he cares nothing for the devastating effects his work has had on humanity.

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