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Catholic Church says it is not immoral to get COVID-19 vaccine despite link to abortions

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — When people hear about vaccine hesitancy, they may think it's because of worries about the potential health impacts of the COVID-19 vaccines. But some are holding back because of moral reasons.

"We would love it if every vaccine had no connection to abortions," said the Reverend Kenneth Wasilewski with the Rockford Catholic Diocese. "However, some vaccines do. Including some of the COVID vaccines,"

Moderna and Pfizer tested their vaccines on fetal cell lines, while Johnson and Johnson used fetal cell lines in its vaccine development. Fetal cell lines derive from the cells from abortions that were done in the 1970s and the 1980s. They are not the same as fetal tissue.

Wasilewski, who is also the diocesan ethicist, said while the Catholic Church is against abortion, it is not immoral for parishioners to get any of the three vaccines.

"The church has been very clear that we are not considered morally culpable and we can receive those vaccines in good conscience. That we're not doing anything wrong. We're not saying abortions are OK, we're not participating in it," he said.

Wasilewski said if people have a choice, the church encourages them to choose the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. But if the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is their only option, the church said it is still OK to take.

Kristin Crowley

Evening News Anchor
Kristin Crowley anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news. She is also a reporter for 13 Investigates. She brings more than a decade of experience to the newsroom. Her work at WREX has earned her multiple awards including a regional Edward R. Murrow for Investigative Journalism and three regional Emmys.

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