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Spring 2019, our free regional paper’s Letter to the Editor section was flooded with attacks on our state senator. Apparently he had championed parental rights in the then-flaring vaccine debate. While reluctant to enter the fray, I felt compelled to support him and try to help clarify the issue. My response, published in its entirety, is below:

Americans have long loved our liberty. We’ve also recognized our responsibilities. Complex issues require complex responses which can’t be fully voiced here. However, Jay Carpenter, M.D. writes, “As an internal medicine doctor, I believe strongly in the efficacy of vaccines. I also believe strongly that our vaccines (and all of our medical advances) should be safe and derived in a morally principled fashion. There is an ethical concern about the measles vaccine issue that I do not believe the American public is aware: a component of the current MMR vaccine is derived from an aborted fetal cell line. As such, there is a large group of Americans who will not avail themselves of this ‘tainted’ therapy. The unfortunate truth is that there are ethical, morally acceptable alternative vaccines that are simply not made available to Americans.”

Along with formaldehyde, aluminums, MSG and even mercury in some of its dozens of recommended vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control lists human diploid cells and/or human diploid lung fibroblasts with cell lines WI-38 (from an aborted baby girl) and MRC-5 (from an aborted baby boy) as ingredients in the MMR, adenovirus, hepatitis A, DTaP, polio, HIB, hepatitis B, rabies, varicella and zoster vaccines. No pro-life alternatives exist in the U.S. for the adenovirus, hepatitis A and MMR vaccines. Merck used to manufacture one for MMR, and Japan currently does, but the FDA has not approved importation.   

According to Right to Life of Michigan, “The vaccines themselves do not contain fetal cells, but there are significant ‘residual’ biological components from the fetal cells that have been assimilated into the vaccine, including cell proteins and measurable portions of fetal DNA.”

Much has been made, and rightly so, about vaccinating healthy children for the sake of the ill and those who can’t receive vaccinations. What about healthy children who are injured or killed by the vaccination itself? The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) began hearing claims in 1988 “after lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers and healthcare providers threatened to cause vaccine shortages and reduce vaccination rates.” Its top two of three objectives are to “ensure an adequate supply of vaccines” and “stabilize vaccine costs.” Funded by a $.75 tax on each dose ($2.25 for MMR, since it involves 3 diseases), the VICP has paid more than $4 billion to individuals (or their survivors).

We don’t know the effects of injecting humans with DNA particles from other humans. We don’t know why current generations suffer such severe autoimmune, allergic and chronic illnesses. Pharmaceutical companies won’t disclose their expenses but cite research and development to help justify what The New York Times has called the “soaring” cost of vaccines, generating $24 billion in 2015 alone according to The Atlantic. We need impartial research on the effects of vaccinations. We need ethical vaccine options. We need liberty–and justice—for all, so sacrificing individuals for the “common good” never becomes the new American way. Thank you, Senator, for standing in the gap.