• Graphic Content Warning*

By Heather Markella Georgiou

Registered Nurse
Master of Public Health
Certified Health Education Specialist

We’ve all heard the good news that Roe v. Wade has successfully been overturned.  While it certainly is a victory, will it cause abortion to end? Unfortunately, abortion has been around since ancient times and probably always will be, especially when church leaders support it.

I would like to offer some counterpoints to a pro-abortion document written by the Orthodox Theological Society of America (OTSA) and published on the Greek Orthodox Archdioceses’ website. https://www.goarch.org/-/covid-vaccine This document is entitled “COVID-19 vaccines: How they are made and how they work to prime the immune system to fight SARS – CoV2**”    My main focus is not the particularly the vaccine, it is the fact that this paper states it is ethical to use aborted fetal cells in medical research.

Are the vaccines unethical because of their use of aborted fetal cells?

Answer: Several significant factors lead to the conclusion that the vaccines present the best ethical option to promote health and life, despite their connection with the use of aborted fetal cells. These factors are:

(1) The fetal cells in use today are derived from two or three therapeutic abortions performed several decades ago. The abortions were NOT for the purpose of the development of vaccines, and all parties (including the US government) have agreed that no new fetuses will be aborted or used for this purpose.

(2) Many vaccines (other than COVID) that we use in the US and world-wide are made from these cells, and other substitute cell lines have not proven to be effective for growing the vaccines; this has been the only alternative. (3) Most Church leaders have agreed that the many lives saved by vaccination are an important factor in permitting the use of these vaccines. While it is a sad reality that the origin of these cell lines is from these very few therapeutic abortions, the cell lines are already in existence, no new fetuses will be used, and as such it is far preferable to cure diseases as a result of the use of these cell lines than to totally forbid the use of these cell lines. The vaccines in no way legitimize or promote abortion; rather they combat disease and death, support health, and enable life—not death—to prevail, all of which are of the highest ethical value.1

According to the Holy Scripture, Satan is the father of lies. In the Garden of Eden, he generated sin that led to death. He used deception to do this. He is still doing that same thing today. Many of the premises that the OTSA base their claims on are based on lies. Lies that lead to death. In their document, they answer the question “Are the vaccines unethical because of their use of aborted fetal cells?” They answer it is ethical to use aborted fetal cells.

The first problem with their answer is their use of the term, “therapeutic abortion”. This term in itself is a tool of deception. It implies that ending a child’s life in utero is somehow a positive, beneficial therapy. It’s obvious that this “therapy” is not beneficial to the child, as after the procedure, the child is dead. Therefore, the implication is that the therapy benefits the mother. How is the mother benefitted by the death of her child? Some might argue that in the case of rape or incest (which is also rape), the mother would benefit from the abortion.  While it’s true that some victims of this atrocity do choose abortion, still most do not typically view killing their own child as a “benefit” but as an agonizing, painful decision. With abortion, women suffer a range of emotions from relief to grief, loss, sadness.  They may experience depression, insomnia, relationship problems, despair and even suicidal thoughts.  In the situation of rape, women are dealing with a vicious transgression against their bodies and souls, adding the death of their child to their burden carries with it consequences that may not be beneficial.  This is evidenced by the fact that many women choose to give birth to their babies that were conceived during the crime of rape. (Although in the case of incest, abortion might be considered a benefit by the perpetrator, as his sin of impregnating a child of his own flesh would be concealed.)

The only potential ethical answer to the question of how a mother is benefitted by the death of her child, would be that the mothers’ life is saved. “An abortion to save the life of a mother” is a concept steeped in murky waters.

First, most potential situations in which the pregnancy must be “ended in order to save the life of the mother” occur toward the end of the pregnancy when the baby can be delivered alive. Yes, the child may be delivered preterm and need medical support, but that is certainly no reason he or she can’t be born alive.

Second, there are many situations where abortion is offered by a medical provider as an option due to some anomaly of the developing baby, not to save the mothers life. However, the suggestion to abort is then perceived by the mother as being “therapeutic” for her, because the doctor recommended it to her.  These situations can be erroneously lumped into the delusory “therapeutic abortion” category.

Some mothers take the recommendation of an abortion, they interpret it as being therapeutic, and then they undergo the procedure. Other women have opted not to go through with a recommended abortion procedure and have given birth to a healthy baby.   Other women have given birth to babies with disabilities after being advised to abort. And still other women have given birth to babies who died naturally shortly after birth due to an anomaly. There are also cases where mothers have had babies die in utero, and are then advised to have an abortion procedure on the already deceased child.  But rather than bear the pain of going through an abortion procedure, they give birth to the lifeless baby, hold them in their arms, say goodbye and have the opportunity to baptize them and honorably bury them. The mothers decided what care was appropriate for their sons and daughters. The point is, that just because a doctor recommends an abortion, may not mean it’s medically indicated and it may not be therapeutic at all.

There are plenty of specialists and high risk OB/GYN doctors who can help manage difficult pregnancy situations. If needed, the baby can be delivered alive early, and given the chance to live.  In worst case scenarios, mothers can choose perinatal hospice.  This is compassionate hospice care for the unborn child and his or her family. (For more information see https://www.perinatalhospice.org )

Now let’s consider a life-threatening situation that occurs early in pregnancy.  Ectopic pregnancy is the situation where the pregnancy occurs outside the uterus. Most times, this naturally results in a miscarriage as the baby can’t be properly nourished in the abdominal cavity. (Although I am aware of at least one case where an abdominal ectopic pregnancy was delivered surgically and resulted in a live healthy baby.)

However, in the case of a tubal ectopic pregnancy, which is an extrauterine pregnancy that’s in the fallopian tube, there is no room for the expansion needed to accommodate the growing baby. This pregnancy ends in one of two ways.  Either in naturally occurring miscarriage, or medically.   In the case of the latter, in order to prevent the rupture of the fallopian tube which can result in a life-threatening situation for the mother, the extra-uterine pregnancy, which is destined to end on its own due to the uninhabitable location it is in,  can be removed surgically or stopped from living chemically. This is a sad and rare occurrence, but it is necessary to save the life of the mother.

Here is the distinction.  Most doctors do not consider this an abortion because an elective abortion is typically defined as the termination of an intrauterine pregnancy.  Removal of a tubal ectopic pregnancy does not fit this definition. The pregnancy is not intrauterine, it is extrauterine, and can’t survive in the location of the fallopian tube. This is very different from an intrauterine pregnancy that is in the right place to survive. It is more accurate to say “the removal of a tubal ectopic pregnancy” rather than to create an entire category called “therapeutic abortion”.*

How can we hold up the rare case of a fallopian ectopic pregnancy, that is destined to miscarry, as the symbol of a standard of care that results in a term “therapeutic abortion”? It is disingenuous.

When we use and support the term “therapeutic abortion” we are taking the rare exception to the rule and making it the rule across the board.  We are taking the circumstance of a life saving procedure done on an extra-uterine pregnancy and then applying the rationale to justify the termination of a healthy intrauterine pregnancy. Extrauterine pregnancy and intrauterine pregnancy are not “apples to apples”, they are two entirely different things.

Using the term ‘therapeutic abortion’ creates an entire category that becomes a repository for collecting “acceptable” reasons to kill one’s own child.

Doctors Middleman and Sloan support the idea that an “abortion to save a life of the mother” is somewhat of an enigma. “Dr. Rose Middleman, former medical director of the Pittsburgh Planned Parenthood, stated in 1972, Its extremely rare, if nonexistent, for a physician to have a medical reason to abort a woman in the 7th or 8th month.” Likewise, abortionist Dr. Don Sloan stated, “If a woman with a serious illness… gets pregnant, the abortion procedure may be as dangerous for her as going through the pregnancy… The idea of abortion to save the mothers life is something that people cling to because it sounds noble and pure—but medically speaking, it probably doesnt exist.” 2

The term ‘therapeutic abortion’ exemplifies the spirit of python, where a bit of truth is twisted so as to ensnare people into a web of lies. It is a deceptive manipulation of facts, a twisting of truth to yield a false phenomenon. It lays the groundwork for the misconception that terminating an extrauterine pregnancy destined to die, is the same thing as terminating an unwanted intrauterine pregnancy. They are not the same thing, but one is being used to justify the other.  The authors of the OTSA document state that the cells used to lead to the development of vaccines were from “therapeutic abortions.” How exactly do they define ‘therapeutic’ as it relates to the killing of an unborn baby? Is it to save the life of a mother from a ruptured tubal pregnancy? Is it to save the mother the burden of having a child she doesn’t want?

The OTSA claims the fetal cell lines, HEK and PER, used to develop the Covid vaccines are from “therapeutic abortions”. To give the OTSA the benefit of the doubt, lets say they define therapeutic abortions as those done to save the mothers’ life.  Therefore, HEK and PER must have been from tubal ectopic pregnancies.  However, this is not possible.

The babies were too old, and too big to have grown in a tiny fallopian tube.  Some might argue that baby HEK could have possibly been ectopic at 12 to 13 weeks old, but certainly not baby PER as that child was 18 weeks old when killed.

Keep in mind that Ellie Schneider from Kansas City, Missouri, a healthy little girl, and guest at the White House 2020 State of the Union address, “was born at just 21 weeks and 6 days.”3

Allen Wong reveals the reason for the abortion of baby PER in his article entitled, “The Ethics of HEK 293”, “A publicly available document records the proceedings of a meeting in May 2001 of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccines and Related Bio- logical Products Advisory Committee. In this document, which deals with both the HEK 293 and the PER.C6 fetal cell lines, Dr. Alex van der Eb, who was involved in the development of HEK 293, is quoted: So the kidney material, the fetal kidney material was as follows: the kidney of the fetus was, with an unknown family history, obtained in 1972 probably. The precise date is not known anymore. The fetus, as far as I can remember was completely normal. Nothing was wrong. The reasons for the abortion were un- known to me. I probably knew it at that time, but it got lost, all this information…So I isolated retina from a fetus,[Here he begins to talk about baby PER, the R stands for retina]  from a healthy fetus as far as could be seen, of eighteen weeks old. There was nothing special with the family history or the pregnancy was completely normal up to the eighteen weeks, and it turned out to be a socially indicated abor- tus—abortus provocatus, and that was simply because the woman wanted to get rid of the fetus”. The father was not known, not to the hospital anymore, what was written down [was an] unknown father, and that was, in fact, the reason why the abortion was requested.” 4

Get rid of the fetus”, hardly sounds therapeutic. Dr. Van der Eb states that the abortion was done for social reasons. This is consistent with the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ data that states that 97% of abortions are done for reasons of financial or emotional strain.5.

Some might argue that this statistic is not reliable because it’s from a pro-life source.  So let’s take a look at data from a research study that is not pro-life. Researchers from Boston Medical Center Women’s Health conducted a study to determine what reasons women having abortions gave for terminating their pregnancies. The reasons fell into the following 11 categories; not financially prepared, not the right time for a baby, partner-related reasons, need to focus on other children, interferes with future opportunities, not emotionally or mentally prepared, health-related reasons, want a better life for the baby then she could provide, not independent or mature enough for a baby, influences from family or friends, don’t want a baby, or other.6  Nowhere in these categories do we see to “save the life of the mother”.  Maybe it’s in health-related reasons?  Health-related reasons broke down into the following four categories; prescription drug use, illegal drug use or alcohol use, concern for the health of the fetus, and concerned for her own health.  If we are very generous and give the benefit of the doubt, and we consider that maybe the category ‘concerned for her own health’ means ‘to save the life of a mother’; that category consisted of 6% of the women.7 This would mean that 94% abort for reasons other than to save the life of the mother (social reasons).

What the OTSA and the GOA are saying is that it is therapeutic to murders ones’ own child for social reasons or for reasons other than to save the mother’s life.  This definition of therapeutic does not seem to align with Orthodox Christian values.  A woman (in New York) can get an abortion for any reason she wants, but that doesn’t mean it should get the blessing of being called “therapeutic”.

The second point OTSA makes to justify their claim that the use of aborted fetal cells is ethical, is that lots of vaccines use fetal cells because other cell lines don’t work.  First, this is flawed logic. For example, lots of people commit crime, therefore it’s ethical to commit crime? Wrong.

However, they are correct in saying that the fetal cell lines are useful in medical research. Why are they useful? One reason is that they divide and multiply well.  How is it that they can divide and multiply? Because they are alive. How is it that the cells are alive?  Because they are harvested from a living being.

This means the babies were both old enough to have well developed organs, and alive when their tissues were harvested.  The organs were removed from the babies while they were alive and they did not survive these procedures.  They were killed. This is explained in the following quote from the Journal of Medical Ethics published on an NIH website; “Fetal tissue for transplantation should be harvestedwithin a few minutes of delivery. Ideally, this should be done by hysterectomy, where the fetus is delivered in utero. Drugs that reduce the physiological activity of the fetus should be avoided. The fetus is therefore in as alive and conscious a state as possible when it is opened.”8

Please read that sentence again, “The fetus is therefore in as alive and conscious a state as possible when it is opened.”

This intentional act of “opening” up a baby to remove its’ “tissues” while he or she is alive, is murder.  These were not happy little baby cell donors, they were helpless murder victims.

OTSA implies that these babies were killed for some good reason and then, so as to not let their dead bodies go to waste, they were used in medical experiments. This is not medically possible.  “In order for the organs to be at optimal viability, the child needs to be dissected and organs extracted within 5 minutes of delivery. Anaesthetic also cannot be used so as to not change the cellular activity of the organs the researcher wants to obtain.” 9  In reference to another cell line from aborted babies called WI-38,  “Acclaimed Doctor, Ian Donald, the pioneer of the ultrasound scanner, also claims to have witnessed the WI-38 dissections, conducted at the Karolinska Institute, he described them such: “Experiments were being performed on near-term alive aborted babies who were not even afforded the mercy of anesthetic as they writhed and cried in agony, and when their usefulness had expired, they were executed and discarded as garbage.”10

The infants we read about being sacrificed in the Old Testament were offered to false gods, today’s infants are sacrificed on the altar of medical progress for ‘therapeutic’ reasons. (To the credit of OTSA, they do admit, under point 3 of the above referenced document that “fetuses have been sacrificed”)

The horrific acts that Dr. Donald witnessed are no different than satanic ritual sacrifice. In order to differentiate it, the enemy of our souls has cunningly draped his cloak of deception over this mess and given it the gentle, benign name “fetal cell research.” When you hear the term ‘fetal cell research’ remember, these are the remains of sacrificed children we are talking about.

In the book of Exodus The Lord commanded us not to murder.   When our Lord  spoke of Satan in the book of John, he said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” These practices that the OTSA defends as ethical, are not ethical and are in abject opposition to the Orthodox Christian faith.

There is also evidence that babies used to develop fetal cell lines are not randomly obtained, as we are led to believe, but specifically selected to be utilized for this type of research. Dr Sven Gard, had carefully chosen the unborn baby based on its health. Writing in a medical Q and A paper he stated: “This fetus was chosen by Dr Sven Gard, specifically for this purpose. Both parents are known, and unfortunately for the story, they are married to each other, still alive and well, and living in Stockholm, presumably. The abortion was done because they felt they had too many children. There were no familial diseases in the history of either parent, and no history of cancer specifically in the families.”11

In the paper accompanying the WalVax2 cell line, researchers stated [emphasis added]: “We obtained 9 fetuses through rigorous screening based on carefully specified inclusion criteria”.12 

This makes sense given that most samples in scientific experiments are carefully selected based on a specific set of criteria so that the study is valid, reliable and the outcome of the experiment has the best chance of success.  Just happening to come across the remains of a dead fetus, and deciding to use it in a science experiment, is unlikely.  Scientists pay close attention to the design of their experiments and all of the details therein, to ensure a successful outcome.

Speaking of successful experiment outcomes, the OTSA states that “two or three” babies died in order to obtain these cell lines.  That may be true, however it is more likely that the experiments required multiple attempts before success was achieved. As we can tell from the quote above, the WalVax2 project required nine babies.  This is also illustrated by the following excerpt from an article by Christian Hacking, “We know that in the creation of WI-38, 32 babies were killed and dissected. Add in the additional experiments to get the rubella virus and subsequent experiments to test it, and the total comes to 99 unborn babies killed. We also know that at least 5 babies were killed in the production of MRC-5 in 1970 and 9 babies in the production of WalVax 2 in 2015.”13 We are talking about the murder of thirty-two babies, then 99 babies, then five babies, then nine babies, in order to complete experiments successfully.  This seems to contradict the notion that very few babies were sacrificed, as the OTSA defends.

The third point OTSA makes in its support of the use of fetal cell lines is that most church leaders agree. At one point, most church leaders agreed with iconoclasm and they were wrong.   Lots of church leaders agreed with Arianism, Nestorianism, Monotheletism,  and they were wrong.  Just because lots of people agree doesn’t mean it’s correct.  “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Proverbs 14:12

The OTSA goes on to argue that fetal cell lines are ok to use because, they assure us that, “No new fetuses have been sacrificed since that time [1970s] for any vaccine tests.” and that no new fetuses will be used.  Did you notice the date of Walvax2?  As stated above, WalVax 2 required nine babies to be killed in 2015. The researchers who developed WalVax2 said this, “Human diploid cell strains (HDCSs), possessing identical chromosome sets known to be free of all known adventitious agents, are of great use in developing human vaccines. However it is extremely difficult to obtain qualified HDCSs that can satisfy the requirements for the mass production of vaccines. We have developed a new HDCS, Walvax-2, which we derived from the lung tissue of a 3-month-old fetus.”14  [Emphasis added]  We can see that the statement “no new fetuses will be used” is clearly false.

The fact is that research on aborted babies still occurs today. The public is under the delusion that this is a humane practice that takes advantage of a few unwanted kids that would’ve died anyway, turning them into useful medical material.  A video recording showing testimony given under oath in the court case of Planned Parenthood Federation of America et al v. The Center for Medical Progress et al, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, on April 12, 2019 shows procurement manager, Perrin Larton of Advanced BioSciences Resources Inc. state: “We do a dissection to get the tissues that the researchers have requested.” When asked how tissue procurement occurs in one of these situations when the entire fetus is intact in the lab, she goes on to describe a situation where she sees the fetal heart beating.15 Remember, this occurred in 2019.

In a separate incident quoted from a 2012 video testimony Life News reports, “Holly O’Donnell described the harvesting, or “procurement,” of organs from a nearly intact late-term fetus aborted at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s Alameda clinic in San Jose, CA. “‘You want to see something kind of cool,’” O’Donnell says her supervisor asked her. “And she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”16

The above-referenced court case revealed that Planned Parenthood in Southern California had a business relationship with Advanced Biosciences Resources Inc., Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles has a business relationship with Novogenix Laboratories, Planned Parenthood in Orange and San Bernardino counties in California had a business relationship with DaVinci Biosciences and DV Biologics. These are all companies that sell fetal tissue.  The latter two companies admitted their guilt, were forced to close and pay out over $7 million in settlements after they were investigated for illegally selling baby parts. “The lawsuit accused the companies of illegally selling cells from fetal brain tissue for up to $1,100 per vial from 2009 to 2015”17

Fetal cell research is ongoing.

The OTSA leads us to believe that “a few” unfortunate souls died a very long time ago and now we’ve made the best of it by creating a wonderful vaccine. They lead us to believe that the death of these children for use as medical material was a rare, singular event, and that while it’s sad that it happened it won’t ever happen again.  This is false. In yet another example, a research paper dated November 2016 states, “In an era of organ shortage, human fetuses donated after medically indicated abortion could be considered a potential liver donor for hepatic cell isolation. We investigated the transplantation of fetal liver cells as a strategy to support liver functionality in end-stage liver disease. Here, we report our protocol of human fetal liver cells (hFLC) isolation in fetuses from 17 to 22 gestational weeks, and our clinical procedure of hFLC transplantation through the splenic artery.”18 Here we see again, only six years ago, researchers obviously used more than one child as they list a range of fetal ages.  Remember how old little Ellie was when she was born.

Not only is fetal cell research ongoing, but it’s big business.  Bioscience laboratories have relationships with suppliers/medical providers and with customers/researchers those request organs. These bioscience laboratories serve as a middleman to procure human babies for use as a medical material in research. Anyone can visit the website ATCC.org and type CRL-1573 into the search box.  Within those search results, one will find human (homo sapiens) embryonic cells for sale ranging in price from $400 to $600.

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States.  We know from the above-referenced court case that Planned Parenthood is a supplier of pre-born infants to procurement agencies, but who are the customers purchasing the baby parts? According to the DaVinci Biologics investigation, “Fetal tissue and cells were sold to pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions in Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, the Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom, authorities said.”19

However, it appears there are instances where there is no middleman. According to the University of Pittsburghs’ website, they have a direct business relationship with UPMC Magee Women’s Hospital where they obtain their baby parts for research. “The Pitt Biospecimen Core, which provides central support for Pitt research programs, receives all fetal tissues from UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital.  In a clinical setting, conversations about donating fetal tissue for scientific research can only occur after a patient has decided to terminate a pregnancy. This process is set by federal law, which requires a patient’s written consent for a donation of this kind.”20

While it is very reassuring that the University of Pittsburgh states it obtains informed consent before taking a woman’s child to use as medical material, we can see from the following example that in practice, informed consent doesn’t always happen at all facilities.  “Holly O’Donnell described technicians taking fetal parts without patient consent: “There were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.”21  This is fetal cell research, these are practices that the OTSA and it seems the GOA, have blessed as ethical.

The University of Pittsburgh further assures us that they comply with federal law and do not profit off fetal cell research. Why would they need to profit off the backend when they already profit on the front end? Meaning, they already got paid, with federal funds, before they did the research. The University of Pittsburgh’s website states “Facts About Fetal Tissue Research FACT: America’s top biomedical research institutions utilize fetal tissue for certain types of research. In 2020, the top-10 NIH-funded institutions—the University of Pittsburgh included—received NIH grants for projects that utilize fetal tissue research.”22 (NIH is the National Institutes of Health, a taxpayer funded organization.)  How can the OTSA be so sure no new fetuses will be used when America’s top 10 NIH-funded institutions get grant money for fetal cell research?

Despite its nonprofit status, Planned Parenthood doesn’t seem to share the same attitude towards profiting as the University of Pittsburgh. According to the statements of their employees, they seem quite motivated to make as much money as possible off the sale of human babies.  “Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Mary Gatter joked, “I want a Lamborghini” as she negotiated the best price for baby parts.”  “Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Savita Ginde stated, “We don’t want to do just a flat-fee (per baby) of like, $200. A per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.” “Unreleased videos from CMP show Deb Vanderhei of Planned Parenthood caught on tape talking about how Planned Parenthood abortion business affiliates may “want to increase revenue [from selling baby parts] but we can’t stop them…” Another video has a woman talking about the “financial incentives” of selling aborted baby body parts.” Another video shows a “…medical director at Planned Parenthood in Orange County, California, describing to undercover investigators how her abortion business tries to harvest intact aborted babies’ bodies for a local for-profit biotech company and changes the abortion procedure to do so.”23

The Orthodox Christian faith has deeply held beliefs about how to treat and respect the dead. A proper and honorable burial is the standard for the Orthodox Christian. It seems strange that the OTSA and the GOA would bless a practice that deviates from the Orthodox standard and desecrates the body of the deceased in such a barbaric and horrific manner. “The 11th video: catches a Texas Planned Parenthood abortionist planning to sell the intact heads of aborted babies for research. Amna Dermish is caught on tape describing an illegal partial-birth abortion procedure to terminate living, late-term unborn babies which she hopes will yield intact fetal heads for brain harvesting.”24

Does this seem ethical to you?  What about the fact that instead of having an honorable burial, these young children were not only mutilated but sold as a commodity all over the world?  How would you feel if tiny pieces of your child were distributed and consumed all over the world? Is that a peaceful end without shame and suffering?  This distribution of the remains of these babies is ongoing on websites such as atcc.org.  A sector of our economy profits off the sale of someones murdered child. Does this seem ethical to you?  Further, do the statements made in the OTSA document seem ethical or even truthful to you?

David Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress, asks an important question. “How long will public authorities permit Planned Parenthood and their associates to sell living children inside and outside the womb and then kill them through organ harvesting? The [DOJ] has vigorously prosecuted the sale of eagle body parts. Surely, selling body parts after cutting them out of an infant with a beating heart is at least as grave of a crime?”25

To propose an answer to his question of how long, I would venture to say, as long as officials of the church voice their support and encourage these practices, it will continue. The OTSA document cites a Facebook post from the Ecumenical Patriarchate and two papers from the Roman Catholic Church as support for their claim that using fetal cells is ethical. Not only will this ecumenical support of fetal cell research bolster the continuation of fetal cell research (aka the purposeful torture and killing of babies and subsequent improper handling of their deceased bodies to generate medical material), but it may likely have other unintended effects.

It may lead Orthodox Christian women to be more inclined to abort their babies. They will likely perceive that the act of abortion will benefit the progress of medicine, as stated by representatives of their faith in the OTSA document and published by the GOA.  When faced with the choice to abort their babies, they may be inclined to justify the act of abortion if the option to “donate the baby to science” exists, knowing that the OTSA says, “ it is far preferable to cure diseases as a result of the use of these cell lines then to totally forbid the use of these cell lines”26  Because these representatives of the Orthodox faith are embracing fetal cell research, this could be interpreted by a woman in a crisis pregnancy as a blessing to end her babies life.

As a nurse, I’ve listened to many women as they explained their reasons for wanting an abortion. I would not be surprised to hear a woman say that she would have an abortion and donate her child to science.  This false doctrine posed by the OTSA is an idea that the ends justify the means. This leads to death. That is not of God.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23

For example, I have personally witnessed the false doctrine of evolution result in death. A patient told me she was going to abort her baby while it was still in the reptile stage. Despite my explanation to her that her child is fully human from conception onward and at no time is her baby ever a reptile, she clung to this falsehood.  She was erroneously taught that babies have gills at an early stage of life and therefore are somehow related to reptiles. For her, this concept was enough to dehumanize her child to the point that ending the child’s life did not weigh on her conscience. The decision to choose abortion was much easier for her because of this lie she embraced.  False doctrine leads to death.

The potential for a similar situation presents here when church leaders support the killing of babies for medical research.  Remember, 97% of abortions are not done for medical reasons they are done for non-medical reasons.  A woman may reason,  “I will let a blessing come out of this unfortunate decision to abort my child but at least there will be some benefit to it. Sure, it’s sad that my baby will die, but this isn’t the right time in my life, someone else will receive good from it.” How beautiful and righteous this sounds, because it’s cloaked in the same garment of deceit as is the premise of supporting fetal cell research.  The enemy of our souls rejoices when his lies are successful in creating death.

Another possible unintended consequence of OTSA’s stance could pertain to Orthodox Christian medical researchers.  When Holly O’Donnell spoke about looking down at a tiny newly born infant with a beating heart that was about to be sacrificed for the sake of medical progress, she stated that she didn’t know what to think. Instead of saying ‘I don’t know what to think’, persons following the OTSA doctrine would know to say, “Get your mask on, get your scalpel ready, let’s cut this kid open. The ends justify the means, after all ‘it is far preferable to cure diseases as a result of the use of these cell lines then to totally forbid the use of the cell lines.’”

Think of Dr. Donald who witnessed the dissection of a live baby for medical research. By the tone of his quote, it seemed to weigh on his conscience. I imagine that at this difficult time in his life, he may have appreciated being able to find solace in a faith that unequivocally condemns such practices. He, (nor the babies for that matter) would find any solace in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

It is very curious to me that the GOA would publish this article written by an MD and two PHDs of the OTSA. The article contains deceptive, misleading and incorrect information.  Rather than give accurate, truthful information, it seems to support more of an agenda, it reads like a propaganda piece.

I will confess, I too have an agenda. First, that people would be able to give a truly informed consent to healthcare choices.  A person should never consent to a medical procedure without first understanding correct, accurate, complete information about the medical intervention, it’s benefits, what the alternatives are, what the possible negative outcomes are, and what would happen if they do nothing.

More importantly, my agenda is that the faith of Orthodox Christianity would be preserved intact and not compromised.  The OTSA, by deeming the killing of babies to procure their bodies for use as medical material as ethical, compromises the integrity of the Orthodox Faith.  This does not align with the faith that Christ gave to the apostles, and that the apostles gave to the Holy Fathers, and that the Holy Fathers handed directly down to us to in this day. Our faith should not deviate from that.  The OTSA’s doctrine deviates to a path that is not of God.  This might be acceptable in the field of medicine, but Orthodox Christian leaders have to reject evil that is in opposition to our faith (Jesus Christ) and should not parrot phrases or ideas that lead the people to sin and death.

I’m not arguing that women can’t have abortions, they can.  Especially here in New York, they can abort up until the day of birth. I’m not arguing that people can’t take a vaccine or medicine made as a result of the murder of a little boy or little girl, they can. Whether or not they should or shouldn’t do these things is between them and God. These are decisions that individuals have to live with the consequences of, and give their own account of before the awesome judgment seat of Christ, that’s not my business.  What I am saying is that we should not propagate the agenda of the enemy of our souls by participating in his deception.  Do not propagate lies, such as the ones implied and stated by the OTSA and perpetuated by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

What can we do? We can heed the words of Nobel Prize winner Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

(The work ‘Live Not By Lies’ is worth reading in its entirety https://www.solzhenitsyncenter.org/live-not-by-lies)

Solzhenitsyn, during the reign of Stalins’ communist regime, was arrested for criticizing Stalin in his personal letters. Here he refers to the demonic methodology that was being employed against the people at that time:

“But it will never come unstuck by itself, if we all, every day, continue to acknowledge, glorify, and strengthen it, if we do not, at the least, recoil from its most vulnerable point.

From lies.”

A little later in the piece, he suggests what we can do:

“And therein we find, neglected by us, the simplest, the most accessible key to our liberation: a personal nonparticipation in lies! Even if all is covered by lies, even if all is under their rule, let us resist in the smallest way: Let their rule hold not through me!

And this is the way to break out of the imaginary encirclement of our inertness, the easiest way for us and the most devastating for the lies. For when people renounce lies, lies simply cease to exist. Like parasites, they can only survive when attached to a person.

We are not called upon to step out onto the square and shout out the truth, to say out loud what we think—this is scary, we are not ready. But let us at least refuse to say what we do not think!.

Our way must be: Never knowingly support lies!”27

*I understand that medical coders, insurance billers or healthcare administrators may relate to the term “therapeutic abortion” differently, but here we are discussing it in terms of ethics and how it plays out in society in light of the Christian faith.


  1. The Orthodox Theological Society of America. COVID-19 vaccines: How they are made and how they work to prime the immune system to fight SARS – CoV2. https://www.goarch.org/-/covid-vaccine
  2. Skop, Ingrid MD. Top 10 Myths About Abortion. American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://aaplog.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MFL-FRC-Top-Ten-Myths.pdf
  3. Jackson, David. Trump State of the Union Guests Include Girl Born Prematurely, Army Veteran, Family of Fallen Soldier. Feb 4, 2020. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/02/04/trump-state-union-guests-include-girl-born-prematurely-veteran/4653589002/
  4. Wong, Allen. The Ethics of HEK 293. https://www.pdcnet.org/C1257D43006C9AB1/file/5265B61D5497F52585257D94004802BB/$FILE/ncbq_2006_0006_0003_0077_0099.pdf
  5. Skop, Ingrid MD. Top 10 Myths About Abortion. American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://aaplog.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MFL-FRC-Top-Ten-Myths.pdf
  6. Biggs, Gould, Greene Foster. Understanding Why Women Seek Abortions in the US. BMC Womens Health. July 5, 2013. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3729671/
  7. Ibid
  8. Anderson, Priscilla. Review of: The Foetus as a Transplant Donor: Scientific, Social and Ethical Perspectives. Journal of Medical Ethics. March 14, 1988. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1375541/pdf/jmedeth00264-0052b.pdf
  9. Hacking, Christian. What the HEK? Challenging Views on Abortion. February 9, 2021. https://www.cbruk.org/what_the_hek
  10. Ibid
  11. Ibid
  12. Ibid
  13. Ibid
  14. Ma B, He LF, Zhang YL, Chen M, Wang LL, Yang HW, Yan T, Sun MX, Zheng CY. Characteristics and viral propagation properties of a new human diploid cell line, Walvax-2, and its suitability as a candidate cell substrate for vaccine production. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2015;11(4):998-1009. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2015.1009811. PMID: 25803132; PMCID: PMC4526020.
  15. Advanced Biosciences Resources Perrin Larton Deposition Testimony Video Excerpt 1 and Excerpt The Center for Medical Progress. June 30, 2020 YouTube.com Transcript https://www.centerformedicalprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/ABR-Larton-Testimony-Excerpts.pdf
  16. Bilger,Micaiah. Planned Parenthood Leaders Admit Under Oath to Harvesting Body Parts From Babies Born Alive. Life News. June 30, 2020 https://www.lifenews.com/2020/06/30/planned-parenthood-leaders-admit-under-oath-to-harvesting-body-parts-from-babies-born-alive
  17. Langhorne, Daniel. 2 companies reach $7.7-million Settlement over Allegations of Selling Fetal Tissue. Daily Pilot. December 10, 2017. https://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-dpt-me-fetal-tissue-20171208-story.html
  18. Liver cell nov 2016 Pietrosi and Chinnici. Report on Liver Cell Transplantation Using Human Fetal Liver Cells. Springer Link November 10 2016 https://link.springer.com/protocol/10.1007/978-1-4939-6506-9_20
  19. Langhorne, Daniel. 2 companies reach $7.7-million Settlement over Allegations of Selling Fetal Tissue. Daily Pilot. December 10, 2017. https://www.latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-dpt-me-fetal-tissue-20171208-story.html
  20. University of Pittsburg Website, Fetal Research Page. https://www.pitt.edu/researchfacts_temp92221
  21. Bilger, Micaiah.
  22. University of Pittsburg Website, Fetal Research Page. https://www.pitt.edu/researchfacts_temp92221
  23. Bilger, Micaiah.
  24. Ibid
  25. Daleiden, David. Sworn Video Testimony Describes Infanticide in Fetal Organ Harvesting and Planned Parenthood Clinics. The Center for Medical Progress. June 30, 2020. https://www.centerformedicalprogress.org/2020/06/sworn-video-testimony-describes-infanticide-in-fetal-organ-harvesting-and-planned-parenthood-clinics/
  26. The Orthodox Theological Society of America. COVID-19 vaccines: How they are made and how they work to prime the immune system to fight SARS – CoV2. https://www.goarch.org/-/covid-vaccine
  27. Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr. Live Not By Lies. February 12, 1974. The Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Center. https://www.solzhenitsyncenter.org/live-not-by-lies


  1. Awesome work gf Heather!
    Your medical knowledge kept me off the Vax propaganda and can’t thank you enough.
    You are AXIOS.


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