Support the Human Cell Product Labeling Act

Labeling products which were developed or tested with human cell tissue would go a long way in educating Catholics on the extent of their usage.

Are you willing to prolong your life by using medical products developed from human tissue that was obtained by killing another human being? Put that way, likely not too many people would answer in the affirmative. But what has happened to medical research and development since abortion was legalized?  

It is clear that many of the vaccines for COVID-19, and some childhood vaccines, were developed and/or tested with human cell lines originating from a person killed in an abortion many years ago. But what about medical products developed via the newer embryonic stem cell lines? Then, too, we have Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the fetal-parts-selling industry, which was exposed by the Center for Medical Progress. What new medical products are the result of such trafficking?

Now, some may very well answer the opening question above with a “yes.” Some may welcome all sorts of medical products developed from the killing of tiny human beings and further promote such products as a great benefit to mankind. They may even argue that with the widespread use of COVID-19 vaccines developed or tested with cell lines from aborted fetuses, most of the world has accepted such medical products as being both legal and moral to produce and use. Cased closed, right?

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Well, no. The Chairmen of the Committee on Doctrine and the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a document in 2020 that concluded with this paragraph:

For our part, we bishops and all Catholics and men and women of good will must continue to do what we can to ensure the development, production, and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine without any connection to abortion and to help change what has become the standard practice in much medical research, a practice in which certain morally compromised cell lines are routinely used as a matter of course, with no consideration of the moral question concerning the origins of those cell lines.

So, whether one got the COVID-19 vaccine or not, U.S. Catholics are being called upon to help change the standard medical research practice of using morally compromised cell lines as a routine matter of course. If we do not heed that call, we will face more and more future situations pitting concerns for physical health against moral concerns about using medical products developed from morally compromised cell lines, which may have no morally untainted alternatives.

Ultimately, replacing illicit products with ethically developed products should be the goal, with an eventual legal ban on any unethical products produced from abortion, or any other type of human killing. But just how widespread is the problem right now? A step toward that goal, which will help root out the illicit products and also identify the licit ones, is the state-level Human Cell Product Labeling Act:  

No person in the course of doing business in the State of _________ shall knowingly and intentionally expose any individual to a product known [to] have been developed and/or tested with cells originating from any living or once living human tissue without giving clear and reasonable warning to such an individual and by including on the product packaging the words, “This product was developed and/or tested using human cells.” 

Further, any such product packaging shall contain an internet link to a webpage indicating at least the 1) origin of the human cells used to develop and/or test the product and 2) the method by which the cells were obtained and 3) any medical or scientific name of any used human cell based line(s). However, such information shall not include the name of any person or body from which the cells originated.

A person who violates or threatens to violate this Act may be enjoined in any court of competent jurisdiction.

A person who has violated this Act is liable for a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per day for each violation in addition to any other penalty established by law. That civil penalty may be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought in any court of competent jurisdiction. (American Life League’s website) 

Similar labeling of products for cancer-causing materials is mandated by California’s Prop 65 and thus shows up on products sold in other states as well, since the manufacturers are apparently not making a special packaging just for California. Thus, the proposed Act above need not be passed by every state in order to bear fruit nationwide. 

Even if it were just passed in one state, the information required by the Act would expose product origins to people across the country. The language of the proposed Act actually lifts some language directly from Prop 65 sections 25249.6-7. Notice, also, the enforcement mechanism; it is similar to that of the new Texas abortion law, in that a violator is subject to a civil lawsuit.

The author of the Culture of Death no doubt wishes to entwine the entire human race more and more with the evil of abortion. The first step was legalizing it, then it was paying for it via our taxes, and now it is medically benefitting from it, even to the point of seemingly having no other option. It is not too late to push back with a Culture of Life. Please urge your state representatives to introduce and pass the Human Cell Product Labeling Act.


  • Edward Szymkowiak

    Edward Szymkowiak, was the National Director of American Life League’s STOPP International from 2000 to 2004. A father of six and grandfather of five, he has been a Catholic educator for many years, currently teaching at a Catholic high school in Maryland.

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