The director of an anti-abortion pregnancy center in Pueblo is assuring nurses who are looking for work that they don’t need to be vaccinated to work at her pregnancy center despite the Colorado Board of Health’s order requiring staff at hospitals and health facilities to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The new rule comes amid a major spike in COVID-19 cases that has filled emergency rooms to capacity across the U.S. The spike is attributable to the Delta variant spreading rapidly, particularly among unvaccinated individuals.
Tamra Axworthy, who runs A Caring Pregnancy Center (ACPC) in Pueblo, posted on Facebook following the board’s announcement that it would require health care workers at thousands of facilities accross the state to recieve their first dose of the vaccine no later than Sept. 30.
“FYI, I’m hiring RNs,” she wrote on a Facebook post linking a news story on the new vaccine requirement. “No vaccine required. Needs to be prolife, christian, humble, teachable, ministry minded, great with a team, charismatic, and kind … Will be supervisor for other medical staff and see clients daily.”
The Colorado Board of Health’s order applies to hospitals, community clinics, birthing centers, and others. Anti-abortion pregnancy centers typically operate without medical licenses.
ACPC is one of the dozens of anti-abortion pregnancy centers in Colorado, which outnumber abortion providers nearly three to one, a ratio that’s similar to the rest of the country. These organizations offer various free services like pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and “pregnancy options education” in order to sway people with unplanned pregnancies from getting an abortion. By setting up shop next to abortion clinics and promoting misinformation about abortion, they often deceive those seeking an abortion
For example, ACPC’s website features a long list of abortion “risks” that are completely unsubstantiated or disproven, including various cancers and a slew of psychological side effects such as suicidality, alcoholism, and eating disorders.
Framing abortion as dangerous is a key tactic for anti-abortion pregnancy centers and the anti-abortion movement at large, when in reality, abortion is very safe – safer, in fact, than getting your wisdom teeth removed or a colonoscopy.
In April of 2020, ACPC was among several anti-abortion pregnancy centers that stayed open despite closures of non-essential businesses and a suspension of non-essential medical care, potentially exposing pregnant people to a virus that has been linked to higher risk of preterm births and severe illness.
Vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives.
In addition to calling on unvaccinated nurses to apply, Axworthy has been promoting misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine on her page.
In August, she posted a link to a news story about coronavirus found in deer and wrote, “This virus isn’t going anywhere. We have to learn to live with it… studies show that vaccinated people shed more virus then unvaccinated people. So, while you might not get ‘as sick’ once you get the jab, you’re actually more of a danger to others. Congrats.”
This is false. Per the CDC, “Vaccine shedding can only occur when a vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus. None of the vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. contain a live virus.”
Axworthy also posted a video from anti-abortion celeb Abby Johnson (who recently got COVID and tweeted that she was taking Ivermectin) in which Johnson explains her anti-vaccine stance. Axworhty wrote, “If aborted babies were used in ANY part of the production or testing of these vaccines then my answer is NO! I will NOT be vaccinated.”
Cell lines derived from abortion have been used to manufacture vaccines for decades, including those against rubella, chickenpox, and hepatitis A, in addition to drugs against diseases like hemophilia and arthritis. Cell lines are not aborted fetal tissue, as some anti-abortion and anti-vaccine advocates falsely claim. Fetal cell lines are grown in labs and descend from cells taken from two abortions that occurred decades ago, and the cell lines that are currently used in the development of certain vaccines are thousands of generations removed from the original fetal tissue.
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine used fetal cell structures in its development and production, but the more widely used Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines did not.
This isn’t the first time Axworthy has shared misinformation and conspiracy theories on her page. Last year, she liked and shared posts related to the QAnon conspiracy, including regarding “adrenachome,” an imaginary drug that QAnon believers think a shadowy cabal of liberal and hollywood elites are harvesting from the fear of trafficked children.
Axworthy emailed the following response to CTR when asked how she reconciles her self-described pro-life stance with her resistance to life-saving measures that prevent COVID-19:
“Getting or refusing a vaccine is my business (as is my personal facebook page), is HIPAA protected, and has no effect on the vaccinated…if the vaccine actually works. Having natural immunity as a ‘survivor of covid’ is to be considered as well. Nothing I posted was ‘Misinformation’. Nowhere did I say anything about ‘vaccine shedding’. I don’t even know where you got that from. None of the posts you shared are addressed in your link. It is my pro-life stance that prohibits me from taking the vaccine. I will not knowingly inject or allow myself to be injected with products of abortion, as I’m sure you are fully aware. I didn’t call for ‘unvaccinated staff’ I said ‘no vaccine required’. I am also for personal liberty (ie, My body, my choice). We are not mandated to do so per the State Board of Health, therefore it is none of my business if or who among my staff are vaccinated. All mandates that apply to us are and have been followed.”