Clarence Thomas dissent says 'aborted children' were used to develop COVID-19 vaccines
Clarence Thomas (Photo by Saul Loeb for AFP)

The United States Supreme Court on Thursday denied a religious liberty challenge to New York health care workers who were fighting against the state's vaccine mandate -- but not without a dissent from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that claimed COVID-19 vaccines were developed using "aborted children."

In the dissent, which was flagged by Slate's Mark Joseph Stern, Thomas argued that health care workers had legitimate objections to using the vaccines, which he said "were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children."

In fact, the COVID-19 vaccines, as well as several other vaccines developed in the 21st Century, have used stem cell lines from aborted fetuses that had been frozen more than five decades ago.

However, even the Catholic Church, which maintains that abortion is a sin, does not believe there are legitimate religious objections to using the vaccines.

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As Vatican News reported in December 2020, the Vatican's own Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declared that "it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process."

While the church expressed reservations about Catholics engaging in "passive material cooperation" with past abortions, it said those concerns are outweighed if "there is a grave danger, such as the otherwise uncontainable spread of a serious pathological agent -- in this case, the pandemic spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19."

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