A group of students at St. John’s University (SJU) in New York is suing the school’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement, which they say is a violation of their religious belief regarding abortion.
17 students filed suit in Suffolk County Supreme Court against Catholic University in Manhattan. They are seeking $2.75 million in damages, excluding changes in university status, according to the New York Post.
In court papers, the students said the COVID-19 vaccines being administered in the United States were tested using “embedded fetal tissue or human embryonic stem-cell derivation”.
According to a report published by the British Medical Journal, the manufacturing process of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine used cell lines derived from elective abortions performed decades ago. Other COVID-19 vaccines being used in the United States by Pfizer and Moderna used these cell lines in testing, but not in production.
“As a devout Roman Catholic, I believe that life is precious. In the Ten Commandments, it says, ‘Thou shalt not kill,'” one of the students who sued told the Post.
While SJU offers a religious exemption to require vaccinations, it has rejected requests from students who sued, saying there are questions about “the reality of their alleged religious beliefs”.
An SJU official told the Post, “Many applications were rejected because students submitted material purchased from the Internet, or verbatim copy from online sources, which questioned the genuineness of their alleged religious beliefs. “
In a similar case, four female students last month sued Creighton University, a Jesuit Catholic institution in Nebraska, for refusing to grant religious exemptions to its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The women argued that even remote association with abortion would be a violation of their conscience.
“The use of fetal tissue, fetal cells or any product of abortion in vaccine development or testing or any medical treatment is abhorrent to me,” one student wrote in an affidavit. “It is a sincerely held religious belief, which influences my moral and ethical views of the world.”
According to court filings, Creighton initially offered a medical exemption and a temporary exemption, while the vaccines were subject to emergency use authorization by the federal government. The students were granted a temporary waiver, which expired on August 23, when the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received formal federal approval.
In a September 22 ruling, a judge rejected the students’ request for a temporary order blocking the vaccine mandate, saying their case would fail because they accepted the temporary waiver.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times