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Anti-abortion activist Abby Johnson

Photo by American Life League/ CC BY-NC 2.0

Anti-abortion activist and 2020 Republican National Convention speaker Abby Johnson posted a video Tuesday evening urging her followers to boycott the COVID-19 vaccine, falsely claiming it props up abortion because it contains "dead children" and slamming political and religious leaders for promoting the vaccine.

"I'm here to punch a hornet's nest," she announces at the top of the video. "I'm about to speak about this vaccine issue and aborted babies being used, being tested in vaccines."


"I am particularly interested in this because of the COVID vaccine that has been fast-tracked through the FDA," she added. "We don't know what in the world it's going to do to us."

Johnson added that "if abortion was used in any part of the manufacturing or production of this vaccine, all Christians should be saying no, we don't want any part of it." She condemned leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, as well as "Big Pharma" and "the liberal left," for "allowing our children to be guinea pigs, and to allow our children to be injected with these vaccines that have dead children in them."

Experts have made clear that the COVID vaccine is safe, despite its approval having been expedited.

Dr. Andrew Badley, head of the Mayo Clinic's COVID-19 Task Force, said, "The fast-track part were regulatory approvals, funding, data analysis and submission to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Those are all paperwork items. What was not fast-tracked was enrollment of patients, clinical follow-up of these patients, capturing the events which occurred and the follow-up."

As for the "dead children," according to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, vaccines developed by growing viruses in fetal embryo fibroblast cells were created using cell lines obtained from two embryos electively aborted in the 1960s.

No vaccine developed through this process contains any part of the embryo's cells or any human DNA, the hospital's information page notes. Additionally, manufacturers such as Pfizer and Moderna did not use the human cell lines in their production of coronavirus vaccines.

Johnson has spread falsehoods before, both about herself and about everything from racial profiling by law enforcement to medicine.

Before her lucrative career as an anti-abortion activist, Johnson worked as the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic and had two abortions herself. Johnson claims she left Planned Parenthood after witnessing a 13-week abortion on ultrasound and having a crisis of conscience.

The clinic says no such abortion happened on the day Johnson claims to have seen it. Other parts of her supposed conversion story have been debunked as well.

After Johnson was announced as a speaker at the Republican National Convention, she drew national attention for a video she had posted earlier in the summer arguing that it would be "smart" of police officers to racially profile her adopted biracial son because, she said, "Statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons."

The day after posting the video about coronavirus vaccines, Johnson, a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, urged her social media followers to listen to Mike Pence's appearance at a "Life is Winning" event highlighting the anti-abortion agenda of the Trump administration.

"Honored to be with Vice President Pence today, listening to all of the amazing pro-life accomplishments that have taken place under President Donald J. Trump," she posted on her public Facebook page Wednesday.

But Trump, whom Pence called "the most pro-life president in history," has repeatedly claimed credit for the development of the coronavirus vaccine, and the Trump administration has bragged for months about its participation in "Operation Warp Speed," a vaccine development effort.

"HUGE NEWS: Thanks to the public-private partnership forged by president @realDonaldTrump, @pfizer announced its Coronavirus Vaccine trial is EFFECTIVE, preventing infection in 90% of its volunteers," Pence tweeted in early November.

Debunking another falsehood, Pfizer was quick to inform the New York Times that it turned down research and development funding from the Trump administration, and that the administration was not involved in the creation of the vaccine.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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