Tainted Vaccines: Interview with Debi Vinnedge, Children of God for Life

Elizabeth Hoxie - Vinnedge Interview


Debi Vinnedge is the founder and Executive Director of Children of God for Life — a non-profit, pro-life foundation dedicated to educating the public on issues such as embryonic stem cell research and human cloning. Ms. Vinnedge\’s commitment to the protection of the unborn is unmatched. She provided testimony for the Congressional hearings on embryonic stem cell research, introduced the Fair Labeling and Informed Consent Act to the House and Senate and has appeared on numerous television and radio shows including the Vatican radio, Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes and EWTN. Perhaps Ms. Vinnedge\’s most important work has been the Campaign for Ethical Vaccines which affords individuals a way to petition pharmaceutical companies to offer morally licit medical treatments not derived from fetal tissues.

Catholic Stand is privileged to share Ms. Vinnedge\’s expert knowledge on an issue of great concern for Catholic parents and physicians — the lawfulness of the use of vaccinations derived from aborted fetal tissues.

Elizabeth Hoxie: Tell me about the origins of Children of God for Life. How did you become involved?

Debi Vinnedge: The year was 1999 and people were just beginning to hear a lot about embryonic stem cell research. Personally, I was shocked to think we had now come to the point where scientists could simply produce a human being and then deliberately kill him/her to collect the stem cells. When I tried to tell my  fellow pro-life friends about this issue, I would get this \”deer in the headlights\” look. Our diocesan Respect Life Director knew nothing about it, nor did folks at the parish level. And yet the Clinton Administration was about to open this issue for a 90 day period of public comments on authorizing Federal Funding for the research. And so I  began to do as much as possible in educating the public, including conducting seminars and running a full-page ad in our local newspapers, giving them the facts and encouraging people to write letters and make phone calls. It was during this time that I read an article in a Catholic publication about several childhood vaccines that were produced with aborted fetal material. As a mother, I was outraged that I had never been told this and as a prolife leader in my community, I also knew something had to be done. To me, if it was okay to use aborted fetal cell lines, then why not embryonic? There was no difference from a moral perspective. But as firm as I was in those convictions, I was just as sure that I was incapable of doing anything about it – and so I tried to ignore this growing tugging in my heart. I knew God was leading me into something that I was very frightened to take on: the pharmaceutical industry. 

EH: Do you have any background in medicine? Are there medical professionals working with Children of God for Life?

DV:  No – I had no medical training whatsoever and that was part of what was so frightening. When I finally caved in and gave my \”fiat\” to our Lord, I did so on the condition He would send me a lot of help! And He did just that. My first major contacts began with the US Conference of Bishops\’ Richard Doerflinger who put me in touch with the Catholic Medical Association. And they have been a staunch ally and major supporter of our work from the beginning.

EH: The statement on vaccines derived from aborted fetal stem cells (\”Moral Reflections of Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Foetuses\”) published by the Vatican\’s Pontifical Academy for Life is a very important resource for parents trying to navigate the moral quandries surrounding vaccinations. What was your role in the development of the document?

DV: In the early 2000\’s Catholics were being unjustly targeted by State health officials when they filed for lawful, State-authorized, religious exemptions. Any other Christian or non-Christian denomination was able to get their exemption with no trouble, but not Catholics. The reasoning was that the very article I had read when I first learned about these vaccines was being used by some State officials to deny Catholics the same rights as other faiths. The article had quoted a Catholic ethicist as saying there was nothing wrong with using these vaccines, nor was there anything wrong with the way they were developed. I went to the Vatican with the data I had collected to that point on behalf of Catholic parents who wished to abstain according to their deeply held prolife convictions. You see, when I first began our Campaign for Ethical Vaccines, I knew that there were far too many unanswered questions as to the history of this ghoulish practice. There were many morally produced vaccines and I saw no reason why aborted fetal material had been used at all. And so I began researching and digging into the past and what I uncovered was horrific. There were hundreds of abortions – not just one or two as I had been told initially – and this had been going on since at least as early as the 1930\’s. But unfortunately, much of this would surface after the PAFL\’s document was already released in 2005.

EH: Can you give a brief summary of the Pontifical Academy\’s findings and conclusions?

DV: The Academy stated that it was morally permissible to use the vaccines \”on a temporary basis\” if there was \”considerable danger\” to the child or the health of the community at large. They further stated that it was \”right to abstain\” if it could be done without \”significant risk\”. So in essence, they left this decision to the parents. However, they also made it very clear that there was a \”grave responsibility\” to use moral alternatives if they exist and that all Catholics must do all in one\’s power to pressure the government and the industry to provide ethically produced versions for which there is currently, no alternative. 

(The Academy provides, as an example of the \”considerable danger\” some diseases pose to community health, the case of German measles or Rubella. German measles is a common, and typically benign, infection of infancy. However, Rubella poses a great threat to the unborn child of an unvaccinated woman exposed to the infection.)

EH: What advice would you give to parents who choose to seek religious exemption from vaccinations derived from aborted fetal stem cells when it comes to dealing with state and school officials?

DV: When we first contacted the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, we were advised to tell all Catholics who wished to abstain to use the Church teaching on moral conscience and that if they turned away from that conscience, it would be \”a grave error.\” Within 24 hours of that advice, we put the Church teaching from the Catechism and Papal encyclicals up on our website. That teaching is a solid tenet of our faith and it immediately ended the problem in nearly all public schools.

EH: How can Catholic parents discuss their concerns about the questionable vaccines with their physicians?

DV: Most physicians are very sympathetic to parents on this issue, however there are many who are completely unaware that vaccines contain aborted fetal material. We have developed many resources to provide ample proof for medical professionals and we encourage parents to give our free brochures to their doctors. We will also gladly take phone calls from the physicians if they have questions and we have developed a prolife physician\’s database of doctors who are willing to help parents. However not all physicians are willing to work with the parents. Some have literally kicked them out of their practice for refusing some of the vaccines or worse, they refuse to even order the moral options that do exist for some of the vaccines. This is unfortunate because if we are going to win this battle, we must have the full support of the medical community.


For more information on their work visit Children of God for Life\’s website at www.cogforlife.org

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34 thoughts on “Tainted Vaccines: Interview with Debi Vinnedge, Children of God for Life”

  1. Pingback: Dr. Ben Carson: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly - Catholic Stand

  2. I think you I missed the part where fetal cells are used. Researching all required and optional vaccinations for children and boosters for adults, I find no evidence of fetal tissue use. Perhaps you are referring not to generation of the vaccines, but ongoing QC? Or research involving potential vaccinations, like HIV. Bottom line is this. I am a Catholic research scientist who abides by Church teachings and have selected against using certain tissue types in my work. From what I can tell this article is based on ignorance, presumptions and a complete lack of understanding of how science is performed. There are plenty of opportunities to boycott things where fetal cells are used. This one is not among them and the fearmongering and ignorance needs to stop. This casts us Catholics as fools. We are not.

  3. This group has lost it’s desire to have more ethical vaccines and has gone into the vaccines cause autism crusade. This is doing great harm and can caus deaths in children. I wish you woul not have interviewed her but someone who has an actual science degree and yes there are plenty of good scientists who are deeply loyal to the Church.

    1. StacyTrasancos

      Annie, that’s a pretty serious charge. Have you read what’s on COG’s website? The information about the possible autism link is based on research by scientists.

    2. Yes it is a serious charge. The COG website has one scientist who is raising money. She has two companies.

      99.9 % of doctors and scientists reject this “Possible” link. Look up Dr Paul Offit. His books have the best amount of studies that are put together in book form. They are all documented and you can look them up. If you say he’s not Catholic well the doctors who look into miracles for canonization aren’t either. He even tackles this group and shows with Vatican documents what the Vatican actually says about the shots. I trust the Vatican.

      While they way the shots were made was wrong babies aren’t aborted to keep making more.There is’t enough DNA to poison the vaccine. If there is an alternative than take it. You don’t have to keep up this myth to make more ethical shots.

    3. What I find when Googling his name is that he is a multimillionaire with a vaccine patent who worked for the CDC and who wants to remove all religious exemptions for vaccines. I don’t find anything about him directly addressing the DNA concern, nor do I find any reason why he would support it since his position is that no child should ever be allowed to be exempt from the vaccines he makes his money from .

      Honestly, Annie, I’ll look at a link if you’ve got something better, but just from a quick Google search I can already surmise that his opinion doesn’t seem unbiased.

    4. Stacy you are correct – Paul Offit is a shill for the pharm industry and is paid handsomely. He has never done a single study himself – only criticizes others. And Annie is again incorrect – the vaccines have extremely high levels of DNA – way beyong the FDA allowance.

    5. He only created a life saving vaccine so what would he know about vaccines? He has been to medical school and is a prof of Vaccinolgy. He is a doctor of Infectious dieases. That’s alot. Gosh Debi you seem to use the shrill word quite a bit,

    6. Of course she uses the word “shill” for someone who shows up on a months old article, makes demonstrably false claims, tries to change the subject constantly, attacks stands no-one has made, offers “evidence” that doesn’t support the original claims she made, ignores the actual statements those who disagree make and builds strawmen accusing others of horrible motives… all while referring constantly to someone who is trying to make money.

      It’s a well known technique for both getting someone’s name out and for improving search results.

    7. He wants to save lives from illnesses. As does any decent doctor. This Dr Theresa is rasing money for her company so what is your point? My child had the roto virus and it was prue hell. My next kid got the shot. If he is a millionare so what. Roto virus has killed so many babies. I can understand his wanting to get every kid vaccinated. Ask any old person how it was to get those illnesses. Parent buried kids. Lots of parents. Why would anyone want to let their chid get a life threatening illness?

  4. The Vatican said f here is not alternative that you should still get the vaccine. The fact that you still defend the FALSE belief that vaccines cause autism make me doubt what your group at all. Autism rates have gone up in the western wrld while vaccination rates have gone down. No one except a few crack pots accept this lie. If it was just about he way the original vaccine was made can see your point. And I have checked with a man who has a PHD in vaccines and a pro-life pediatric gastro doc and both say it wasn’t a bunch of unborn babies. While I disgree with how this was done back in the 60’s the damage is done and babies are not continually being aborted.
    Autism research is looking at genetics, older fathers,and something that might happen in the womb. Wakefield’s “Study” was done on 12 kids and e was trying to come up with a patent for his own drug. He is no longer allowed to practice medicine. NO he is not a martyr he is a snake.
    I will close by saying my Dad has no legs due to measles exposure as he was born pre-vax. He also became a biology professor and knows your autism myth is dangerous. Lots of moms put other people at risk because of this lie you are telling.

    1. The autism/aborted fetal DNA link has never been studied and you are incorrect that autism rates have gone up where vaccine rates have fallen. If you look at the studies put out by the National Education Association, the EPA and the CDC you will find a direct link between autism spikes and the introduction of new aborted fetal vaccines to the market. I am sorry about your dad – but it is Merck you should be angry at for no longer providing the separate doses. Measles vaccine does not use aborted fetal cell lines; rubella does.

    2. Autism rats have gone up due to the changing autism spectrum criteria. Most child were labeled with other things. The research is looking at genetics, damage done in the womb, and older fathers. You go where the evidence leads not to where you want it to go.

      The DNA in vaccines is fragmented and can not not make a protein. It is impossible .

      In your link you have not proved a direct link. How many studies have to be done to prove to the anti-vax crowd?
      I hate how they made the orginal cell line. I wish we had a different way. We don’t and the Vatican agrees with giving the shot. I am not more Catholic than the Pope. I also do not wish to put lives at risk when the Vatican says I can get the shot.

    3. Annie – NO SCIENTIST has done what Dr Deisher has done in her studies – but her work is being corroborated by other scientists as well. The DNA being fragmented actually makes it MORE dangerous! And if you have not read the studies then you do not know that the DNA levels in Hep-A, Rubella and Chickenpox – are WAY beyond the FDA allowance of “no greater than 10ng”. Go to either our website http://www.cogforlife.org and click on the link for Sound Choice – then the autism studies – including the CBS interview with another scientist who upholds Dr Deisher’s work (and she is a retired pharmaceutical industry scientist) or go directly to Sound Choice which is http://www.soundchoice.org

    4. StacyTrasancos


      “No one except a few crack pots accept this lie.”

      ^^^That’s really uncalled for. What Dr. Deisher is studying has little if anything to do with Dr. Wakefield’s studies. Have you looked at her studies?

      No one here is calling for the spread of measles. We are asking for more ethical means of producing the vaccines.

    5. Well since thousands of children died of Measles mumps and rubella we vaccinated our kids. I don’t want to harm other people. Again I am not more Catholic than the Pope. I hope and pray a better vaccine is made but it is not.
      Maybe some of you should look up what happens to children when they get these illnesses. It is tragic!

    6. LOL!!!!!!! Thousand of children died????? Through what century???? Girl you are WAY OUT OF TOUCH! Go to the CDC website – or ask the Catholic Medical Association. I know this for a fact – been doing this over 13 years with full backing of our Church by the way. Maybe you should look up what happens to kids who suffer adverse reactions to some of these vaccines – tragic is not the word – its a disgrace! The US government has paid out BILLIONS of dollars to parents who have lost their children or who have suffered permanet disabilities. I would strongly recommend you learn the truth before posting trash…you sound like a pharmaceutical rep to me!

    7. I am out of touch???? So the vast majority of scientists agree with me. Most every doctor agrees with me. Vaccines save lives! You have a point on how they were first made but you are long gone from that. The CDC backs you up? Really? The money paid out was by judges not doctors. We all know how much they really know about medicine. Yes thousand of kids died due to measles,mumps and rubella.http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs286/en/
      Ask anyone what those three illnesses did who is over 70. No I am not a pham rep I just come from a family of scientists.

    8. A “family of scientists” that is perfectly willing to state falsehoods, and then try to pretend it was never said by trying to change the subject?

      That you feel the need to build strawmen and destroy them– which is another form of falsehood and false accusations– does not do much for your claimed aim.

    9. 1) I did not call you a liar, I said that you had made false claims. To be a liar, you would have to do so willfully. It’s entirely possible you were simply misled, and trust poor sources.

      2) You are trying to change the subject from your original claims when confronted; it would be irrational to respond to each change of topic, because once refuted past evidence suggests you will simply name-call, make false accusations, refute things that no-one has said and change the topic again.

  5. I was so pleased to read this article interviewing Debi Vinnedge. Ms. Vinnedge has been my pro-life mentor for several years. She has a wealth of knowledge that often intimidates me. I only wish I possessed 1/10th of her cerebral database. I have learned so much from her and her foundation. Thank you for writing such an informed piece and sharing.

    Peace be with you.

  6. Aborted baby cells are in some vaccines. I did this information list for a friend who asked the same question yesterday.

    Aborted baby cells are in vaccines. I did this information list for a friend who asked the same question yesterday.

    “In a March 2011 CBS news interview Dr Ratajczak stated, “That DNA is incorporated into the host DNA. Where is this most expressed? The neurons of the brain. Now you have body killing the brain cells and it’s an ongoing inflammation.” Children of God for Life’s Executive Director Debi Vinnedge was not entirely shocked by the findings. “While we have focused primarily on the moral aspects of using aborted fetal material, the question of that DNA’s impact on autism have remained unanswered”, she stated. “It is critical that Dr Deisher’s work is explored further, especially since the FDA is well aware of the dangers of extraneous human DNA in vaccines.” In the 2008 journal Biologicals, (pg 184-197) FDA scientists stated the danger of residual DNA in vaccines “has been debated for over 50 years, without resolution”. Those dangers include cancer, autoimmunity and genomic disruption.* More startling is the amount of DNA Deisher found in these vaccines. While the FDA guidelines allow for no more than 10ng per vial, on average the rubella vaccines contained over 140 ng per vial. “I would call this a ticking time bomb, except in this case, autism has already exploded”, stated Vinnedge. “The CDC and FDA need to recognize the importance of this new evidence and provide real solutions for parents.”” from http://www.cogforlife.org/2011/05/11/groups-call-for-federal-investigation-of-human-fetal-dnaautism-link-in-vaccines/

    “The human DNA from the vaccine can be randomly inserted into the recipient’s genes by homologous recombination, a process that occurs spontaneously only within a species. Hot spots for DNA insertion are found on the X chromosome in eight autism-associated genes involved in nerve cell synapse formation, central nervous system development, and mitochondrial function (Deisher, 2010). This could provide some explanation of why autism is predominantly a disease of boys. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that residual human DNA in some vaccines might cause autism.” from http://www.cogforlife.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/ratajczakstudy.pdf

    “In the IACC 2011 Strategic Plan the fact that spontaneous, de novo, genetic mutations are associated with autism disorders in at least 10% of the cases is discussed (Appendix A page 33) What this means is that some mutations that have been associated with autism are not present in the parents and therefore have occurred only recently in the children. Some of these de novo mutations are present in genes that code for proteins that are critical for nerve cell communication, which is also called synaptic connectivity. ” from http://www.cogforlife.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/congresstestimony.pdf

    “To minimize the possibility of oncogenic DNA integrating into a vaccine recipient’s genome, the WHO and FDA have recommended DNAse treatments to reduce the size of contaminant DNA fragments to less than genic lengths, ~200-1000bp. These recommendations were developed before the sequencing of the human genome. DNA cellular diffusion studies have shown that short DNA fragments (140ng/vial ssDNA and >30ng/vial dsDNA, with average lengths of 215bp. Havrix contains >270ng/vial ssDNA and >30ng/vial dsDNA. The FDA-recommended amounts are 10ng/dose.” from http://www.cogforlife.org/2010/06/03/scpiautismstudypress/

    The actual science and research information/data that was undertaken

    “The scientific community now knows that children with regressive autism have hundreds of de novo and diverse gene mutations. That means that regressive autism is not genetic and that it must be triggered by an external event that can create hundreds of different DNA breaks and mutations. That has been obvious to us at SCPI since 2008. Since 2008, SCPI has been way ahead of the field, doing the cutting edge biology, molecular modeling, computational informatics, and ecology to figure out what is causing so many DNA breaks and mutations in our children, long before the 2011 and 2012 publications publishing the hundreds of de novo mutations together in one paper. That’s because we knew that a condition associated with hundreds of different genes could not possibly be genetic, and that DNA and retroviral contaminants are present in some childhood vaccines, and that these types of contaminants are known to cause DNA breaks and mutations. The vaccine manufacturers and the federal agencies that blindly promote vaccinations do not like our data or our research” from http://soundchoice.org/research/ which has other tibidts of important information as well.

  7. Phil…according to the package insert from the manufacturer (ie, in the chickenpox vaccine) it states that there are cell components, DNA and proteins from the aborted fetal cell lines. The full list of all products is on our website at http://www.cogforlife.org/vaccineListOrigFormat.pdf There are other medicines besides vaccines listed. Also you may want to look further into that “vaccine-autism” link. The UK scientists thought it was the mercury – but there was never mercury in the MMR vaccine in the US. So what caused the autism? One common link in all countries… the answer may surprise you.

  8. Phil,
    The Vatican document lists hep A, varicella and rubella as the vaccines derived from aborted fetal tissues for which there are no acceptable alternatives. The list of vaccines derived from aborted fetal tissues for which there are alternatives can be found on COG’s website.
    It would indeed be a great wrong if certain diseases made a come-back due to a failure to vaccinate. This is one of the primary issues discussed in the Vatican’s paper. However, the Church leaves it up to parents and physicians to weigh public health and the health of their own children against a very remote cooperation with the original evil of abortion. No matter what parents decide, they are obligated to speak out.

  9. Specifically, can you list the vaccines which are derived from human fetal cells….
    Also, isn’t it a greater wrong (evil) if anti-vax groups refuse to vaccinate their kids and epidemics like polio, measles, etc. which were eradicated begin to spread throughout the community (this has happened in the UK with the misguided autism-vax link)? My understanding is these original cells were collected in 1962 and that ‘The vaccines themselves do not contain fetal cells, but it is presumed that there is “residual” biological matter from the fetal cells that has been assimilated into the vaccine.’? (Life Notes from Right to Life Michigan)

  10. Pingback: Tainted Vaccines: Interview with Debi Vinnedge, Children of God for Life - CATHOLIC FEAST - Sync your Soul

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