Forsaking God For the Sake of Science

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Forsaking God For the Sake of Science
By Debi Vinnedge

“What have you done? Listen: your brother’s blood cries out to me…” (Gn 4:10)

There are times in the history of mankind when we must take great pause and examine the path we have taken in the past and more importantly, what path we will take in the future to correct the twisted route that brought us here to begin with.

Such was the case where social elites, physicians and scientists in their zeal for power and glory saw nothing wrong in deliberately ending a fellow human being’s life for the so-called betterment of others who were deemed worthy of preserving.

This report will take us back to one of the most heinous, shameful eras in history beginning in the early 1900’s – back to a time that few reading this article will even know existed in the United States.  And incredibly, what you are about to read was considered perfectly acceptable behavior in most circles.

The year was 1910 and a man by the name of Harry H. Laughlin was making the news with his influential positions as Director of the newly formed Eugenics Record Office which was funded by the Harriman and Rockefeller families and the Carnegie Institute.  Known by both friends and foes as one of the most racist, anti-Semitics of the early 20th century, Laughlin was appointed to head the “master race project” which sought to weed out the undesirables in society. [1]

In his report to the Committee in 1914, Laughlin noted in no uncertain terms that, “defective parents must be stopped from having any children at all” and then described his proposed means of accomplishing that.  In brief:

“Hence the selection of certain potential parents, and the elimination of others, is the only basis of a possible effective eugenics program of any sort….. That the present apparent tendency of society proposes to sterilize and thus cut off the lines of descent only of persons amply demonstrated in each particular case to be unable to understand, or, if understanding, morally unable to inhibit or control himself or herself in a manner preventing the continuance of his or her unworthy traits.  To permit such individuals to reproduce their kind is neither merciful nor just.”[2]

Within a decade, Laughlin introduced his state-level “Model Eugenical Sterilization Law” in 1922 requiring the forcible sterilization of those deemed unfit to breed. These would include the “feeble-minded”, mentally impaired, epileptics, the deaf, the blind, the homeless and chronic offenders of the law. By 1931 twenty eight states had enacted the legislation.

Later in 1933 this US model would become the prototype for Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Act for Averting Descendants Afflicted with Hereditary Disease. Hitler himself recognized Laughlin with an honorary doctorate at Heidelberg University for his contribution to eugenics.[3]

Laughlin traveled in elite social circles and surrounded himself with like-minded people such as Margaret Sanger and Foster Kennedy.  Today most people know of Sanger’s contribution to the establishment of Planned Parenthood and the ethnic cleansing she both supported and helped fund.  Likewise, Kennedy had no qualms about his own personal agenda which was not only widespread sterilization of the inadequate, but also the killing of imperfect infants at birth.  In fact, his radical belief was that children up to five year of age should be put to death in order to “relieve the defective of the agony of living.” [4]

Interestingly, these notions were not limited to the United States or even to Adolph Hitler who in the first 4 years after enactment of his Law For The Prevention Of Genetically Deformed Offspring, would sterilize over 300,000 people.[5] Worldwide, laws similar to the US cropped up in other countries as well, notably Sweden; a country that sterilized over 60,000 people and which houses the Karolinska Institute, infamously known as the harvest center for aborted babies used in documented research from the 1950’s through the 1970’s.

Meanwhile in Canada, a woman by the name of Helen MacMurchy was elected to the position of Ontario’s Inspector of the Feebleminded in 1915.  Dr. MacMurchy’s work involved public health and working with single mothers to help them raise their children. At the time unwed mothers were considered “feeble minded” and thus, unfit to breed, due largely to studies published by Dr. Henry H. Goddard, a noted American psychiatrist and eugenicist who claimed there was a link between mental disability and immorality and that both were genetic problems.[6] His work quickly advanced the unabashed agenda of the eugenics movement including institutionalization and forced sterilization.

So it was an easy task for MacMurchy to launch her own objective which was persuading the Canadian government that the best way to eliminate “hereditary weaknesses” was by eugenics. She saw both abortion and sterilization as the answer to preventing “degenerate babies”.  [7]

Twelve years later the United States Supreme Court landmark case Buck v Bell would lay the groundwork for what would become decades of human rights violations and abuse. In May 1927 in an 8-1 decision, the Court accepted that a woman by the name of Carrie Buck, her young daughter and her mother were all “feeble-minded” and that it was in the state’s interest to have Carrie sterilized.

The sole dissenter in the court was Pierce Butler, a devout Catholic who refused to write a dissenting opinion.  Justice Oliver Holmes however, had no problem asserting the power of the court declaring, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough”.[8]  Carrie was indeed sterilized and tragically, her only child subsequently died at an early age.

The case would set a precedent of public opinion on what and who was acceptable and fit for society that would last for the next 40 years until most laws were repealed by the mid 1970’s.

Race for the Cure

Meanwhile, Foster Kennedy was flourishing in his career as Head of Neurology at Bellevue Hospital in New York, which was an institute for both the insane and feeble minded women. But what was going on behind the doors of his institute was nothing short of sinister.

In a 1936 publication medical researchers reported on their work that was taking place at the Bellevue Hospital; research that barely turned a head or raised an eyebrow since by this time, most had come to accept the Supreme Court decision as settled law. In fact, at the time there was nothing wrong at all with what these scientists were doing:

“A new approach was made by the use of 3- to 4-months-old human embryos, obtained aseptically by Cesarean section. (The authors are indebted to Dr. Lance Monroe, of Bellevue Hospital, for the 2 human embryos used in this investigation.) The brain and cord, the lungs, kidneys, liver, and spleen were stored in the refrigerator, fragments of these tissues being taken for the preparation of media at 3-day intervals.”  [9]

Hold it right there you might say –abortion wasn’t legal yet – this was 1936.  Ah, but abortion was most certainly legal and acceptable if it meant ending the life of a child who would be born to a “feeble-minded” woman –  one who might end up less than perfect or who might have to rely on society to pay for their care.

The ultimate goal was to prevent this genetic mutation in all future generations by abortion and sterilization, ironically much like the development of vaccines might one day eliminate diseases.

And lest you think it was just one or two experiments, in the same document the scientists noted:

Although there is as yet no evidence of adaptation to other embryonic nervous tissue, the method of initiating growth in human embryonic brain with subsequent subculture in the embryonic tissue of other species is being pursued further.

Why were they doing this for you might ask?  Well, if you peeked ahead at the footnote you could probably guess pretty quickly by the article’s title and authors.  Dr. Albert Sabin was in the early stages of his polio vaccine research. And such research wasn’t confined to just his experiments because worldwide, scientists were racing to be the first to find a vaccine for polio which was crippling over 100,000 persons annually.  So not only were the methods of forced abortion and sterilization perfectly legal, it was seen as heroic and laudable.

Moving north into Canada, scientists there graphically described their work as well:

“Human embryos of two and one-half to five months gestation were obtained from the gynaecological department of the Toronto General Hospital.  They were placed in a sterile container and promptly transported to the virus laboratory of the adjacent Hospital for Sick Children.  No macerated specimens were used and in many of the embryos the heart was still beating at the time of receipt in the virus laboratory.” [10]

They noted how skin, muscle, heart, liver brain and spinal cord were primarily used in their initial experiments, followed by the use of human embryonic lung tissue.  More importantly, they also used placenta and adult thyroid tissue as well as rhesus monkey tissues, all of which yielded successful results.

No small surprise that this was the same hospital where Dr Helen MacMurchy first worked as head of the maternal ward and established the Canadian eugenics policy that would continue for decades.

In addition, the scientists noted that these were intact fetuses (not embryos by the way since most were well beyond the embryonic stage of development).  As in the NY abortions that were obtained via C-section, so were those performed in Boston’s Lying-in/Women’s Hospital in the late 1940s to early 1950s.

According to Drs Enders and Wells, who won the Nobel Prize for their polio research:

It was obtained under sterile precautions at the time of abdominal hysterotomy for therapeutic indications. Embryos of between 12 and 18 weeks gestation have been utilized. Rarely tissues were obtained from stillborn fetuses, or from premature infants at autopsy…In the experiments on prolonged propagation of virus three sorts of embryonic materials were used: elements of skin, connective tissue, and muscle; intestinal tissue; brain tissue. Embryonic tissues were prepared in the following manner. Whenever possible the embryo was removed from the amniotic sac under sterile precautions, transferred to a sterile towel and kept at 5 C until dissected.[11] 

To further explain, the type of abortion performed – “abdominal hysterotomy” – which is a type of C-Section – not a hysterectomy –  was a dead giveaway as to what these doctors were doing. According to the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, because abdominal hysterotomy is considered a major surgery and not a routine method of terminating an early pregnancy they noted, “It is only done in special circumstances such as when sterilization is required in addition to the termination of pregnancy, as in the case of cardiac disease, diabetes, TB or mental disease. [emphasis added] Otherwise it is employed after the second trimester.”

Dr. Gonzalo Herranz, Professor of Histology and General Embryology at the University of Navarra, Spain, who is a staunch pro-life advocate and adamantly opposes such research, describes how the abortions should ideally be done when fetal material is utilized:

“The correct way consists in having recourse to Caesarian section or to the removal of the uterus. Only in this way can bacteriological sterility be guaranteed. In either case, then, to obtain embryo cells for culture, a programmed abortion must be adopted, choosing the age of the embryo and dissecting it while still alive to remove tissues to be placed in culture media.” [12]

Enders and Wells noted in their research that “the tissues of the arms and legs (without the large bones), the intestine, and the brain were used.”  Yet they also used samples from neonatal foreskin, placenta and non-human specimens of monkey, chick embryo, mouse, rabbit and beef.  It was simply not necessary to use aborted fetal material at all.  Scientists would later discover the contamination of the rhesus monkey samples with the dangerous SV40 virus and switched to the African green monkey (vero cells) which is still used today for several vaccines. [13]

Interestingly, the fetuses used by Dr. Enders and Wells were provide by both Dr Duncan Reid and Arthur Hertig from the Boston Lying-In Women’s Hospital.[14]  Years later in 1974, Hertig would testify his opposition to an  aborted fetal research ban in Boston, despite the fact that his colleagues all noted that aborted fetal material was not necessary for use in the polio vaccines.

As reported in the Crimson News March 29, 1974, Dr. Joseph Stanton of Tufts University noted the bill did not prohibit experimentation on “spontaneously aborted” fetuses.

“The Salk vaccine and the measles vaccine could have been developed on the kidneys of naturally-aborted fetuses,” Stanton stated.

The question remains if this practice of forced abortion and sterilization was limited to only polio vaccine research?   It’s unlikely.  As noted earlier this ethnic cleansing continued well into the early 1970’s yet experiments using aborted babies were also being conducted for both polio and rubella vaccines in the 1950’s and 60’s.  The aborted fetuses for those experiments were provided through the infamous Karolinska Institute in Sweden by Dr Sven Gard who was shipping them to the United States to his good friend and newly appointed Director of the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, Dr Hilary Koprowski.

Koprowski wanted to use human tissue to develop his polio vaccine and Sven Gard was only too willing to oblige.  His intern Dr. Erling Norrby, described how he supplied the aborted fetuses for Dr. Leonard Hayflick – Koprowski’s lead scientist:

“My predecessor, as professor of virology at the Karolinksa Institute in Stockholm, Sven Gard, spent a sabbatical year at the Wistar Institute in 1959 two years after the institution had been taken over by the dynamic Koprowski. One of my duties as a young student in the laboratory in Stockholm was to dissect human fetuses from legal abortions and send organs to the Wistar Institute. Such material was the source of many important studies of cell lines at the Institute, such as Leonard Hayflick’s study of WI-38 cells. [15]

According to the researchers, the actual WI-38 abortion itself was done voluntarily because “the parents felt they had too many children.” [16]  Even if we take the abortionist at his word, this was only one of over 80 abortions involved with rubella vaccine production. [17]

But the experiments on aborted fetuses at Karolinksa did not stop with Hayflick and Koprowski. According to the late Fr Paul Marx, past President of Human Life International, Dr Ian Donald described the experiments he had personally witnessed there – all in the name of science.

“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.” [18]


When we consider the eugenics work by the Rockefeller foundation, the mindset of the players involved and their callous disregard for the unborn, the possibility of forced abortion and sterilization to obtain the fetuses that ultimately led to a successful rubella vaccine is not only possible but highly probable. It worked for polio, why not rubella?  Notably, Koprowski had also worked for the Rockefeller Institute in Brazil in the early 1940s in the very labs where a biological weapons program was being developed with the intent to depopulate targeted third world countries.  Is it any stretch of the imagination to conclude those involved would stop at nothing to achieve their sinister agenda, especially when aborting children of the feeble minded was considered a humane and noble thing to do?

Innocent unborn babies, hearts still beating, with fully intact corpus deemed detrimental to society were treated no better than the Jews who were destined for execution by the Hitler regime – but not before they served some sort of experimental purpose. It doesn’t seem possible in any civilized society, and yet it happened in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Since that reprehensible era in our nation’s history we continue to reap the benefits of an unspeakable evil and worse, some have also used the aborted fetal vaccines to justify further immoral research. (See End References)  Until we end this barbaric practice once and for all, it will continue to worsen unabated.  Our disgraceful history has already proven that.  The question is, how much longer will God have mercy on a nation that forsakes Him for the sake of science?

End References:  Justifying the unjustifiable

March 1974:
Dr Arthur Hertig testifies that aborted fetal research ban should be lifted in the State of Massachusetts, citing the aborted fetal polio vaccine. Crimson News March 29, 1974

January 1993:
 President Clinton approves federal funding of aborted fetal research based on lobbying efforts of the pharmaceutical companies, citing rubella and polio vaccines produced from aborted fetal cell lines to justify the funding.

April 2000:
Drew Miller, Univ of Nebraska justifies aborted fetal research with vaccines that are produced using aborted fetal cell lines. Robert M. Allen of Hastings, University of Nebraska Board of Regents, Fetal tissue research truly saves lives, April 4, 2000

April 2000:
Senate sub-committee hearings on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, Senator Harry Reid used the polio vaccine developed from aborted fetuses to justify the funding.  Senate subcommittee hearings, testimony, Apr 28, 2000, Washington, DC

August 2000:
President Bush justifies his decision to federally fund existing embryonic stem cell lines, based on moral acceptability of aborted fetal chickenpox vaccine. August 12th New York Times OP/ED

November 2000:
In a letter to Children of God for Life Merck asserts using aborted fetal cell lines is acceptable; no need to produce moral alternatives

February 2001:
Leonard Hayflick signs with other Nobel laureates’ letter to President Bush Washington Post.

May 2002:
In a letter response to Children of God for Life’s protest to Merck on the use of a new aborted fetal cell line, PER C6, Merck again asserts using aborted fetal cell lines is acceptable

July 2009:
Catholic Neocutis founder, Marck Lemko cites aborted fetal vaccines to justify their use in cosmetic creams. Mark Lemko Email correspondence; Contact online from NEOCUTIS to DeWilde family, Mon July 27, 2009; 5:47PM

May 2011:
PepsiCo cites aborted fetal cell line research as “the gold standard for the industry” to justify using HEK (human embryonic kidney) aborted fetal cell line to develop flavor enhancers for beverages.


[1] Wilson, Philip K. (2002). “Harry Laughlin’s eugenic crusade to control the ‘socially inadequate’ in Progressive Era America”. Patterns of Prejudice 36 (1): 49–67

[2] Harry H. Laughlin, Eugenics Record Office, BULLETIN No. 10A 1914, Cold Springs Harbor, NY: Report of the Committee to Study and to Report on the Best Practical Means of Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the American Population.

[3] Jackson, John P. & Weidman, Nadine M. (2005). Race, racism, and science: social impact and interaction. Rutgers University Press.

[4] M. Louis Offen, MD MPH, JD, Dealing with “defectives” Foster Kennedy and William Lennox on eugenics, Neurology September 9, 2003 61:668-673

[5] George Duncan, Lesser Known Facts of World War II

[6] Henry H. Goddard, 1912 The Kallikak Family A Study in the Heredity of Feeble-Mindedness

[7] James H. Marsh, Eugenics: Keeping Canada Sane, The Canadian Encyclopedia,

[8] Stephen J. Gould, “Carrie Buck’s Daughter,” Constitutional Commentary 2 (2) (1985): 333; on Buck v. Bell

[9] Albert B Sabin, Peter K. Olitsky, Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and medicine, Cultivation of Poliomyelitis Virus in vitro in human embryonic tissue. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1936, 34:357-359

[10] Joan C. Thicke, Darline Duncan, William Wood, A. E. Franklin and A. J. Rhodes; Cultivation of Poliomyelitis Virus in Tissue Culture; Growth of the Lansing Strain in Human Embryonic Tissue, Canadian Journal of Medical Science, Vol. 30, pg 231-245

[11] Thomas H. Weller, John F. Enders, Frederick C. Robbins and Marguerite B. Stoddard; Studies on the Cultivation of Poliomyelitis Viruses in Tissue Culture : I. The Propagation of Poliomyelitis Viruses in Suspended Cell Cultures of Various Human Tissue; Journal of Immunology 1952;69;645-671

[12] Pietro Croce, MD, Vivisection or Science – a choice to make, Fetal Experimentation-Over the top; Part 1, p. 99-108.CIVIS, 1991, Hans Ruesch Foundation

[13] Bergsagel et al. New England Journal of Medicine 326: 988-993, 1992

[14]  Charles H. Baron, Fetal Research: The Question in the States, Boston College Law School, School Faculty Papers, Digital Commons

[15] Norrby, Erling “Listen to the Music: The Life of Hilary Koprowski (review)”, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine – Volume 44, Number 2, Spring 2001, pp. 304-306

[16]   G. Sven, S. Plotkin, K. McCarthy, Gamma Globulin Prophylaxis; Inactivated Rubella Virus; Production and Biological Control of Live Attenuated Rubella Virus Vaccines; Amer J Dis Child Vol 118 Aug 1969

[17] Rene Leiva, MD, A brief history of human diploid cell strains, NCBC Quarterly; Autumn 2006, pp 449-450

[18] Father Paul Marx, OSB, Confessions of a Pro-Life Missionary, Human Life International , Front Royal, VA