COVID-19 vaccines and aborted fetuses

UPDATE: This article was updated on 27 July 2021, in response to a query about whether an mRNA vaccine by CureVac uses fetal cell lines in any stage of its development. It does not. This article was previously updated on 2 February 2021 to explain about the use of MRC-5 and HEK 293 cell lines in the design and testing of some vaccines.

By December 2020, there were 78 COVID-19 vaccines in development. Thirteen were in third stage trials, and seven already had limited approval for use. The Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine was the first to be approved for use in the UK on 2 December 2020.

Concerns have been expressed on social media that COVID-19 vaccines are made from aborted fetuses, and some people object to the vaccines on religious and ethical grounds.

Most of the COVID-19 vaccines in development do not use human cell lines in their production. For example, Pfizer and Moderna use mRNA technology.  Continue reading COVID-19 vaccines and aborted fetuses

Pregnancies and abortion in Northern Ireland

In 2019, available figures estimate that 4.4% of pregnancies of Northern Ireland residents ended in abortion. This compares to an estimated 24% of pregnancies in England and Wales in 2018 ending in abortion. Globally, an estimated average of 29% of pregnancies from 2015–2019 ended in abortion. This explainer article examines the accuracy and completeness of these figures, particularly for Northern Ireland. Continue reading Pregnancies and abortion in Northern Ireland

Are 2% of pregnancy terminations between 20 and 24 weeks?

CLAIM: About 2% of pregnancy terminations take place between 20 and 24 weeks.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. In 2018, 1.8% of all abortions in Great Britain took place at gestations of 20 weeks and over; 1.7% of all abortions in England and Wales took place at gestations of 20 to 24 weeks. Continue reading Are 2% of pregnancy terminations between 20 and 24 weeks?

Accessing abortion services in Northern Ireland

Accessing abortion services in Northern Ireland
by Dr Orna YOUNG for FactCheckNI
11 October 2019

There have been changes in the accessibility of abortion services in Northern Ireland. In this article, FactCheckNI seeks to provide both a historical and contemporary context for these changes, and to clarify the new guidelines. Continue reading Accessing abortion services in Northern Ireland

Did 20,000 people participate in an anti-abortion march in Belfast?

CLAIM: 20,000 people marched for a pro-life event in Belfast on 7 September 2019.

CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. The figure provided by the event organiser cannot be substantiated. However, the accompanying rally event at Custom House Square could not have been attended by more than the venue capacity of 5,000 people. Continue reading Did 20,000 people participate in an anti-abortion march in Belfast?

Full Fact: How many women leave Northern Ireland to have an abortion in Britain?

CLAIM: Figures published ahead of the Irish referendum on abortion show only 43 women came from Ireland to have an abortion in England last year.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. 3,265 women living in Ireland came to England and Wales for an abortion in 2016. 43 refers to the reported number of women from one hospital who came to the UK so far in 2017. Continue reading Full Fact: How many women leave Northern Ireland to have an abortion in Britain?