First, let’s get this straight. I’m all for anti-science anti-vaxer right wingers not being vaccinated, as long as a) we take their children away from them (and vaccinate the poor dears) and b) isolate the adult anti-vaxers from the rest of the species, perhaps in Texas. But in the meantime, let’s look at the latest bit of (mis)information from the utterly insane side of our society. If nothing else, this story may serve to remind us all what we are fighting about…. not the attitude of this or that skeptics, or which movements should or should not be engaged in chopping the pope down to size. This, folks, is the real deal:

Here is the headline: Study Confirms Link Between Autism and Use of Cells From Abortions in Vaccines by Steven Ertelt, editor of the anti-choice “” and, apparently, some sort of abysmally stupid miscreant.


A new study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency shows a correlation between the use of cells from babies in abortions in vaccines to an increase in autism rates.

The evidence:

The study, published in February in the publication Environmental Science & Technology, confirms 1988 as a “change point” in the rise of Autism Disorder rate.

Yes, this study does say that.

“Although the debate about the nature of increasing autism continues, the potential for this increase to be real and involve exogenous environmental stressors exists,” the study says.

Well, yes. It is the ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency. They look for, and sometimes find (and sometimes not) ENVIRONMENTAL causes of things. Good thing those hippies back in the 60s created this agency, by gosh.

…. as pro-life blogger Jill Stanek notes, the Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute indicates that’s when the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices added a second dose of the MMR vaccine, containing fetal cells from aborted babies, to its recommendations.

Indeed. And the study in question, the one being cited here, briefly summarizes the other studies that have been done that have pretty much demonstrated that there is NOT a link between MMR and autism. NOT. Not is. Is not. No link. No link mentioned in this study. No link shown anywhere else. The only link is in the feeble and demented brain of “blogger Jill Stanek.” Jeesh.

So the MMR – autism link is dead, so the fetal tissues don’t really matter, but what about that? Are dead babies used to prepare the MMR vaccine?

Well, no. Human cell lines have provided some of the substrate for one part of the MMR vaccine (the “R” part) in the past, some of that from old non-abortive tissue lines, some from abortive tissue lines. But there were religious objections for using the abortive tissue lines, so now, if I understand correctly, we use … cow fetuses and human tissues that are not from abortive material. Which is probably inferior (but I’m not sure if it makes a difference in this case)

Lies, fabricated links, bad information, scare tactics. What are they getting out of this dishonesty?

If you want a copy of the EPA paper, email me and I’ll get you one.

Hat Tip: Ana


  1. #1 Evan Hurst
    April 26, 2010

    It’s sad, because those of us who know what an unrepentant liar Jill Stanek is automatically know to go behind her back and check every source she claims to be citing.

    But there’s a large swath of the population which actually would trust her, just because she calls herself “pro-life.”

    I do not know what happened to Jill Stanek’s brain (maybe something in utero?) to make her this way, but it is what it is.

  2. #2 MadScientist
    April 26, 2010

    Well, there are 0 cells from aborted babies in any type of vaccine – is this an underhanded way of saying “0 aborted baby cells, 0 autism cases linked to vaccines”?

  3. #3 Mike Haubrich
    April 26, 2010

    Greg – the link is broken.

  4. #4 Armand K.
    April 26, 2010

    I guess it’s this one:

    There’s also an extra “n” in the site’s name in your post (right after the broken link).

  5. #5 Kamel
    April 26, 2010

    I was sent this link recently also. Some vaccines (eg. Havrix) are still grown in ‘objectionable’ cells – MRC-5 cells are still used and derived from fetal lung tissue – but the anti-vaccine types universally fail to mention that the cells were developed once in the 60s and not on an ongoing basis.

    Religious objectors to vaccines (Catholics, at least) also fail to recognize the Vatican’s own stance on vaccines: “we find, in such a case, a proportional reason, in order to accept the use of these vaccines in the presence of the danger of favouring the spread of the pathological agent, due to the lack of vaccination of children.” They go even further on the subject of rubella: “parents who did not accept the vaccination of their own children become responsible for the malformations in question, and for the subsequent abortion of foetuses, when they have been discovered to be malformed.” Source

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    April 26, 2010

    Yeah, I would not call them “objectionable cells” … I would call them “appropriate, effective legal and ethical tissues.”

  7. #7 Mu
    April 26, 2010

    “appropriate, effective legal and ethical tissues.”
    They can be all that and be still objectionable to someone on moral/philosophical/religious reasons. Take the recent discussion on the HeLa cell line as case in point.

  8. #8 a henneberry
    April 27, 2010

    Many vaccines use aborted baby tissue
    Vinnedge said the rise in autism rates exactly parallels the increase in the use … baby, has produced cancer in mice given the vaccine produced from it. … › Abortion – Cached

  9. #9 Andrew
    April 27, 2010

    Mu, to report something as “objectionable” just because a limited number of crazy people call it objectionable is unnecessary. Medicine in general is objectionable to a Christian Scientist. Reporters do not use the term “objectionable” when routinely reporting medical events.

  10. #10 Ben Zvan
    April 27, 2010

    Henneberry: There’s no such thing as “aborted baby tissue.” By definition, a baby has been born and can no longer be aborted.

  11. #11 brian
    May 25, 2012

    If there weren’t so many ad hominem attacks and negative labels in this article, I might just take it seriously. It’s far too polarizing and panders to the lowest common denominator.

  12. #12 gregladen
    May 25, 2012

    brian, were you looking for some false balance perhaps? We don’t really do that here, sorry!