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Monday, August 16, 2021

There is no valid reason to resist vaccination

First priority should be to protect the living

By Kenneth M. Robbins

Our rate of transmission was only 12 per 100,000 people at the
end of June. Mostly in the last 30 days, it rose almost 1,500%.
Plus, we're doing almost no testing.
This article by Charlestown resident Kenneth Robbins originally appeared as a rebuttal Letter to the Editor in the Westerly Sun. It is reprinted here with the permission of the author. 

In Sunday’s Westerly Sun, Linda Norton states that the development of the COVID vaccines was done using aborted fetal cells. She identifies herself as “pro-life” and indicates that to be the reason she and other pro-lifers will NEVER (her emphasis) get the vaccine.

I have not fact-checked the source which led her to believe the vaccines were developed using aborted fetal cells. But her decision that that fact will prevent her from ever getting the vaccine is indefensible at any level.

First, given the ubiquity of the use of fetal cells in today’s medical research, I suspect many other vaccines and medications she uses also used fetal cells in their development. 

Perhaps she should be as conscientious about investigating all the medical products she uses as she has been about the COVID vaccine before she takes another such product. She may find herself with a very limited repertoire of medical materials she can use.

Second, I suspect she is opposed to the use of fetal tissue because she believes all such tissue derives from voluntary abortions. In fact, many pregnancies end in spontaneous abortions or fetal deaths that are not induced or preventable. Tissue from these outcomes would otherwise be discarded.

This would not have prevented the loss of a life but would have denied that critical material to those who could use it in a way that benefits all humanity. Much like those who donate their organs at death, the tragedy of a death can at least be partially balanced by the good that can come from it.

But even if everything Ms. Norton states is true — that is, that all the vaccines used fetal tissue in their development and all that tissue resulted from voluntary abortions — for a “pro-life” advocate to use that rationale to refuse COVID vaccination is hypocritical.

By not getting the vaccine, Ms. Norton is greatly increasing the likelihood of contracting COVID and spreading it. So she is thus endangering not only herself, but her children, parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors, and dozens or even hundreds of otherwise innocent people who cross paths with her in public venues.

Some of these people will die. Some will spend days or weeks in an ICU fighting for their lives with a tube down their throat and IVs in their arms. Some, who survive, will be forever afflicted with what is known as long-haul COVID symptoms.

So this “pro-life” advocate is willing to subject dozens or more living people with lives, families, and hopes, to a death or severe illness and disability because the thing that could prevent all this may, or may not, have used cells from a fetus. This is not about supporting or opposing abortion. This is about supporting living human beings by enabling them to survive this horrible epidemic.