Unvaccinated Christian teen banned by school sues his local health department

While Jerome Kunkel, 18, has not contracted the virus, he is barred from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy in Walton and any extracurricular activities on the premises.

The student's father Bill Kunkel told CNN affiliate WLWT that they are against the vaccine as they believe it's derived from "aborted fetuses".

He added: "And of course, as Christians, we're against abortion."


According to the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), there are a number of vaccines made in descendent cells of aborted fetuses dating back to the 1960s.

However, health authorities and drug manufacturers insist no new human cells have been used since then to produce vaccines.

The lawsuit argues that the vaccine is "immoral, illegal and sinful".

Kunkel, who is in his senior year said he was particularly upset about the impact the ban will have on the basketball team he captains.

"The fact that I can't finish my senior year of basketball, like our last couple games is pretty devastating," he said.

"I mean you go through four years of high school, playing basketball, but you look forward to your senior year."

The Northern Kentucky Health Department banned unvaccinated pupils on 14th March. They announced that all students at the school who don't have "proof of vaccination or proof of immunity against chickenpox will not be allowed to attend school until 21 days after the onset of rash for the last ill student or staff member".

A statement from the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life issued in 2005 states that "grave reasons may be morally proportionate to justify" the use of vaccines developed from aborted foetuses.

It's explained: "For example, danger to the health of children could permit parents to use a vaccine which was developed using cell lines of illicit origin, while keeping in mind that everyone has the duty to make known their disagreement and to ask that their healthcare system make other types of vaccines available."

However, a statement from the Pontifical Academy—released in July 2017 but only now made public - stated: "the use of such vaccines does not signify some sort of cooperation in voluntary abortion.”

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