A series of letter templates released by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) allows Catholic to contact vaccine makers and ask them to stop relying on cell lines from aborted babies.

The letter templates, released in February by the USCCB, thank the companies for their work on vaccines for COVID-19 and other diseases, while asking them to avoid using cell lines from aborted babies in the future.

Fr. Kyle Ratuiste, a bioethicist in the Diocese of Spokane, explained that “taking practical steps to oppose the use of abortion-derived cell lines helps reinforce our personal conscience, especially if we ourselves have benefited from the vaccine.”

Ratuiste also encouraged Catholics to donate to research organizations that are pursuing ethical alternatives. He pointed to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute, which has worked for years to research alternatives to embryonic stem cells and is currently working to develop its own COVID-19 vaccine. 

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVD-19 vaccines use a cell line derived from an aborted baby in their testing process, which is common in many contemporary pharmaceuticals, including a wide variety of over-the-counter medications.

The Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine has a stronger link to abortion-derived cell lines, which are used in its testing, development, and production. 

Templates are available for letters to AstraZeneca, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, Pfizer, and Sanofi Pasteur.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco is taking part in the letter-writing campaign. Valerie Schmalz, director of the Office of Human Life & Dignity for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, told CNA that a letter about the campaign was sent out to all priests in the archdiocese for the Feast of the Annunciations. In addition, a video was sent out in the weekly Flocknote message, with Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone encouraging people to participate.

Full story at Catholic News Agency.