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Examining the Ethics Behind Medical Abortions and Usage of Aborted Fetal Cell Lines in Vaccines

Our last post examined the ethics behind abortions, women's health, and morality. This post will continue to dissect the ethics behind abortions, the increase in demand of aborted fetal tissue, and morality centralized on life. In case you missed part one, you can read it below.

Examining the Procedures of Medical Abortions

Within the realm of medical abortions, there are different procedures to end a pregnancy.

Abortion by medicine: this method involves three steps with two different medications known as mifepristone and misoprostol.

  • Mifepristone is a medication that blocks the main pregnancy hormone and is taken either at home or in-clinic. Misoprostol is a medication that breaks down the lining of the womb and ends pregnancy with bleeding and pain (NHS, 2021)

  • Mifepristone is taken first and then misoprostol is taken within 1-2 days. Within 4-6 hrs of taking the second pill, the breakdown of the womb occurs (NHS, 2021)

Abortion by surgery: involves an invasive surgery to remove the baby from the womb. This is done with one of the following sedation techniques: local anesthetic to the cervix, conscious sedation (patient is conscious, yet unable to feel the procedure), or deep sedation (patient is asleep). Medication is taken to open the cervix either a few hours before the procedure or 1-2 days before. This is dependent upon what medication is used. This option is carried out by two different procedures:

  • vaccum/suction: Used up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. A tube is inserted into the womb and the baby is suctioned out, being dismembered in the process. If the device fails to remove all of the baby, an instrument is used to gather the remainder of the child. The vacuum technique is completed within 5-10 minutes.

  • Dilation and evacuation: used up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. General or local anesthetics are used during this procedure. Forceps are inserted into the womb and the baby is forcibly extracted. Most women go home the same day.

(NHS, 2021)

According to Mayo Clinic, "Having a medical abortion is a major decision with emotional and psychological consequences. If you're considering this procedure, make sure you understand what it entails, side effects, possible risks, complications and alternatives" (Mayo Clinic, 2021). Below are the following risks that are listed on their website:

  • Incomplete abortion, which may need to be followed by surgical abortion

  • An ongoing unwanted pregnancy if the procedure doesn't work

  • Heavy and prolonged bleeding

  • Infection

  • Fever

  • Digestive system discomfort

(Mayo Clinic, 2021)

Ways of preparation are listed below:

  • Evaluate your medical history and overall health

  • Confirm your pregnancy with a physical exam

  • Do an ultrasound exam to date the pregnancy and confirm it's not outside the uterus (ectopic pregnancy) and not a tumor that developed in the uterus (molar pregnancy)

  • Do blood and urine tests

  • Explain how the procedure works, the side effects, and possible risks and complications

(Mayo Clinic, 2021)

The most popular provider of in-clinic abortions is Planned Parenthood. On their website, they state that "Abortion is a medical procedure that ends a pregnancy. In-clinic abortion procedures are safe and effective. In-clinic abortions are also called surgical abortions" (Planned Parenthood, 2021). They also state that in-clinic abortions work 99-100% of the time. However, in 1973, a Planned Parenthood pamphlet stated the following: "an abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun. It is dangerous to your life and health. It may make you sterile so that when you want a child, you cannot have it" (McQuilkin & Copan, 2014, pg. 363). This information is not listed on their website currently.

Ethics of Medical Abortions Part 2

Many pro-choice advocates will state that a child of an unwanted pregnancy is parasitic in nature. That their existence is more in vain than regarded. We'll examine this claim below and determine if it holds any significance.

"Philospher Judith Jarvis Thompson came up with a much-discussed thought-experiment: You are kidnapped by music lovers and find yourself in a hospital hooked up to the body of an unconscious but ailing world-famous violinist; he is completely dependent on your circulatory system as you share the rarest of blood types. After nine months, the violinist will certainly recover, but he will die if you allow the tubes to be disconnected. What should be done? Thompson argues that if one finds a human being parasitically attached to him without his free consent and quite possibly at great risk to the host's physical health, then the host has no moral obligation to continue to sustain this life, even if--for the sake of argument--that person is fully human" (McQuilkin & Copan, 2014, pg. 369).

Ethicists Richardson McQuilkin and Paul Copan point out that comparing this thought experiment to a child is not valid. The main reason for this lies in the conscious regarding sin. The other reasons deal with psychology.

  • Most cases of "unwanted pregnancies" are between two freely consensual adults outside of marriage where their union produced another individual who now requires sacrifice from his/her parents in order for him/her to have a favorable outcome.

  • Kidnapping and parasitic nature are what McQuilkin and Copan call "emotionally-loaded language," which would be a correct evaluation since the terms "mother" and "child" could have easily been used. This would ensure that the mother-child relationship is not a stranger relationship, which would be the case in Thompson's thought experiment.

  • Abortion is not the same as withholding care from someone who is dying. This would be euthanasia, not abortion. Abortion is destroying a life.

"What then of the 'right to choose' language? It is laden with questionable assumptions. For one thing, right to choose what? 'Choice' is a relative term--like saying 'to the left of.' A right to choose in relation to what? Is one free to rape or murder? Obviously not. Second, the 'right to choose' assumes an individualistic outlook that undermines community; it fails to welcome 'the least of these' unborn children into the world, where they can be cared for and loved. Third, this mindset fails to see life as a gift from God and thus a charge to keep. We are not sovereign over our own lives or the lives of others God has entrusted to us. Fourth, we do not choose our earthly family (or spiritual family for that matter), yet we are called to committed love--to seek the well-being of others, even if doing so is inconvenient and even challenging. Abortion undermines the spirit of these loving commitments that make life meaningful" (McQuilkin & Copan, 2014, pg. 370).

The baseline of the point that McQuilkin and Copan are trying to make is those who are advocating for abortions are trying to rule fate themselves and thus making themselves a god, ruling over life. We are not called to such since we do not hold a perfect, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent nature.

Below are videos of abortion and an article by Living Waters on the topic of abortion:

What of Rape, Incest, and Consent?

On our part 1 post, we discussed how the Hyde Amendment granted immunity of abortion, in a sense, from those who were victims of rape and incest. But is this morally permissive just because it was at one point lawful? What of those who claim they were raped, yet were untruthful?

Rape: according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, this term is defined as below:

"unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against a person's will or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent because of mental illness, mental deficiency, intoxication, unconsciousness, or deception" (Merriam-Webster, "Rape," 2021).

Across all societies, this is deemed as not only immoral, but also unlawful. Why? Because it violates the natural right of life and freedom that is bestowed on every human being.

Incest: a legal dictionary reads the following:

"Incest is a statutory crime, often classified as a felony. The purpose of incest statutes is to prevent sexual intercourse between individuals related within the degrees set forth, for the furtherance of the public policy in favor of domestic peace. The prohibition of intermarriage is also based upon genetic considerations, since when excessive inbreeding takes place, undesirable recessive genes become expressed and genetic defects and disease are more readily perpetuated. In addition, the incest taboo is universal in human culture.
Rape and incest are separate offenses and are distinguished by the fact that mutual consent is required for incest but not for rape. When the female is below the age of consent recognized by law, however, the same act can be both rape and incest" (Legal-Dictionary, "Incest," 2003-2021).

Both of these offenses carry serious weight and harm to the individuals involved. A child that is born out of these conditions, however, did not ask for them. Below are videos from human trafficking survivors who had abortions that can paint a better picture of this path.

They each told how guilt created this mental stimulation that killing the child would take the burden away, but it in turn created turmoil. I think the media, at least in the United States, is partially to blame for only appealing to one side of this argument. They do not display what is caused because of this choice.

For more information regarding what scripture states about rape, please see Compelling Truth's article "Does the Bible Talk about Rape?" and for more information regarding scriptural reference regarding incest, please see Bible Study Tools article "Incest."

It's important to remember:

"A woman who has been raped is described as "violated," but never dirty, unclean, or impure; dishonored by another, but never honor-less as a person. Rape has a great emotional toll, but the Bible never suggests it alters the nature of a person" (Compelling Truth, 2021).

Consent: according to Merriam-Webster, consent in two-fold: "to give consent and approval and to be in concord in opinion and settlement" (Merriam-Webster, "Consent," 2021). Consent is one that must be given with the ability to give approval and be able to comprehend that consent.

Aborted Fetal Tissue Used in Vaccines

We'll transition now to aborted fetal tissue that's used in vaccines. According to a medical journal, fetal cell lines are common in vaccines such as Rubella, Varicella, some forms of the Flu vaccine, Hepatitis A, and Chickenpox. Vaccines against Polio may contain trace forms of fetal cell lines in them. NCBI states

"the commercialization of fetal tissue is not a new practice. The utilization of embryonic and fetal cells from elective abortions in the pharmaceutical industry and medical research is commonplace" (NCBI, 2021).

This journal also states that abortion is morally "illicit", yet the usage of fetal cell lines from cells that were from an abortion in the 1960s could hold significant defense against the common viruses and bacteria that cause illnesses. Below is another statement from NCBI: "Three of these vaccines, M-M-R-II, VARIVAX, and HAVRIX utilize cell lines WI-38 or MRC-5 that were derived from fetal tissues harvested from elective abortions in the 1960s to generate the attenuated viruses used in these immunizations for rubella (M-M-R-II), varicella (VARIVAX), or hepatitis A (HAVRIX). The efficacy of these vaccines has been clearly demonstrated."
However, as we examined in the section above, what is legally permissive does not mean it is morally permissive and vice versa. To read the full journal entry regarding the usage of fetal lines used in medical research, please see the NCBI entry below: Use of Aborted Fetal Tissue in Vaccines and Medical Research Obscures the Value of All Human Life Should Christians Get Vaccinated or Have Their Children Vaccinated?

This question is reliant upon conviction and personal choice. However, please note that there are consequences (both good or bad) for every choice we make. We advice you to talk to a Godly mentor, advisor, and counselor before making your decision. The Bible doesn't directly discuss vaccinations, just like it doesn't directly discuss IVF, abortion, and other ethical concerns. It does, however, give moral and ethical guidelines based on the moral law of the Ten Commandments. Whatever violates God's decree should be something one strays from.

Regarding whether Christians should get vaccinated, it's worth researching what is in vaccines. There are alternative vaccinations available that have not been derived from fetal cell lines such as alternative forms of the Flu vaccination that have been incubated in chicken eggs. Knowing these alternatives are available is key to making a sound, moral decision. In all that you do, use discretion and pray.

Human Trafficking is Today’s Slavery

The numbers of the victims of human trafficking and the stories behind the numbers are why Blissful Faith is partnering with nonprofit organizations to help fund rescues and recovery programs for those entrapped in bondage. Each number is a person. You can be the one to help make a difference by purchasing a shirt (coming soon to the blog in a few weeks) or by ordering a downloadable product currently in the store, in which proceeds will go to nonprofits that seek to give a voice to the voiceless. See more on human trafficking from my previous articles below:

  • The Price of Freedom

  • Knowing Freedom

  • The Fight to Preserve Freedom

Blissful Faith started as a lifestyle and branched into a blog to help others hear about Jesus Christ and how they too can develop a blissful faith through knowing God. This blog’s purpose is to be an evangelical outreach to further the kingdom of Christ. Furthering the kingdom means stretching outside of the comfort zone, comprehending and working towards meeting the needs of others. Putting faith to action keeps it from becoming stagnant. Blissful Faith Merchandise
The Blissful Faith Merchandise store helps both this blog to grow and to meet the needs of others. About 8-10% of the proceeds will go to The Exodus Road and Agape International Missions to help combat human trafficking. The funds will help assist in rescue operations, providing shelter, and recovery programs to those in bondage. Below are some of our partners and their ministries in combating human trafficking: Love Justice International Destiny Rescue The Exodus Road Site: Donation link: Agape International Missions website: Donation link: Join Blissful Faith in raising funds to give to nonprofit organizations to help combat human trafficking. You can be the helping hand that gives a voice to the voiceless and hope to a damaged soul. The Merchandise Store is now officially open. Link here for the merchandise store: Afghanistan Crisis

The support to those in need during the Afghanistan crisis is currently ongoing. Blissful Faith has partnered with ABWE International to help provide for refugees and international Middle East Missions. If you are able, and after seeking God regarding the matter, we urge you to give (and a non-cash offer if you would like) to help the less fortunate AND be a voice for the voiceless. The body of Christ needs to step up and not depend on our government. The following links are below: Pastor X's missionary group, ABWE's relief fund, and our donation form. If God is not calling you to give, please join with us in prayer for the following requests:

  • The deliverance of the Afghan people, the American citizens, the troops, and Christians as they endure persecution and face death

  • The Salvation of the Taliban

  • The endurance, protection, and courage for missionaries

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