The remarks by Mr Thomas came on Thursday as part of a dissenting opinion on the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear a case challenging New York’s vaccine mandate based on religion.
“They object on religious grounds to all available Covid-19 vaccines because they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children,” Mr Clarence wrote in his dissent, referring to the plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit.
The state of New York created a Covid vaccine requirement for healthcare workers last summer, attracting a lawsuit from a group of employees who raised religious objections.
Lawyers for the state made the case that the healthcare workers already had to be vaccinated against measles and rubella, and there were no religious exemptions for those, so the lawsuit lacked merit.
“The presence of a single, limited medical exemption to a vaccine requirement does not require the State to provide a blanket religious exemption from vaccination,” they said in their written submissions.
The plaintiffs nevertheless appealed their case to the Supreme Court, which said it would not consider the matter.
The foetal cells came from elective abortions that happened decades ago. But the cells have since replicated many times, so none of the original tissue is involved in the making of modern vaccines, stated reports quoting experts.
NBC News reported that the vaccines “contain messenger RNA — genetic material that instructs our cells to make proteins, which then train the immune system to fight off the coronavirus. They also include fatty substances called lipids that help RNA cross our cell membranes, as well as salt, sugar, and a few substances that help stabilize the other ingredients.”
The Vatican’s watchdog office for doctrinal orthodoxy had also said in 2020 that it was “morally acceptable” for Roman Catholics to get the jab after anti-abortion groups had raised concerns about vaccines.
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