September 2022 Church & State Magazine

Supreme Court Allows N.Y. Vaccination Policy To Stand

  Supreme Court Allows N.Y. Vaccination Policy To Stand

The U.S. Supreme Court in late June declined to hear a case challenging New York’s vaccine mandate for health care workers.

When COVID vaccines became available, many states mandated that health care workers take the shot. While several states offered religious exemptions, not all did. New York was one of those that did not.

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) argued that people working in hospitals, nursing homes and hospice facilities were serving vulnerable populations and needed to be vaccinated. Sixteen health care workers, all Christians, sued over the state’s refusal to offer religious exemptions.

In court, some of them argued that the COVID vaccine was developed using fetal cell lines obtained from abortions and thus, requiring vaccination violated their anti-abortion religious beliefs. But this claim about vaccines is misleading at best. It’s true that fetal tissue used during the testing of some of the vaccines originally came from abortions that happened decades ago, but those cells have been duplicated so many times that none of the original material is left. And these cells were used during the testing protocol; they don’t appear in the actual vaccines.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the Dr. A v. Hochul case ends the matter. Three justices – Clarence M. Thomas, Samuel A. Alito and Neil M. Gorsuch – would have heard the case. Dissenting from the court’s refusal to hear it, Thomas incorrectly wrote that the vaccines come “from aborted children.”

 

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