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Robins Air Force Base officer files lawsuit challenging vaccine mandate

The anonymous officer says she's being forced into retirement because she won't get vaccinated

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — A Robins Air Force Base officer has filed an anonymous lawsuit challenging the Department of Defense's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The officer describes herself as a 25-year veteran, currently serving as an Air Force Reserve administrator at Robins. She says she's being forced into retirement because she won't get vaccinated.

She writes that she wants to protect her privacy by filing the lawsuit anonymously.

Her lawsuit says she is a Christian, who argues that all of the current COVID-19 vaccines were developed using aborted fetal tissue.

Medical authorities say several types of cell lines, created decades ago using fetal tissue, are widely used in developing and testing many vaccines, like those for rubella, chicken pox and Hepatitis A.

They say the cells used today are clones of the early cells, not the original tissue. The current COVID-19 vaccines do not contain aborted cells, medical authorities say.

The Robins officer says the Department of Defense has denied her request for a religious exemption from the vaccine mandate and her appeals, the lawsuit says. 

The Air Force considers vaccinations, including the COVID-19 vaccines, necessary for a "healthy and ready military force," one senior officer wrote to her in October.

Her only options now are to retire or resign from the military, the lawsuit says. The officer says she filed an early retirement request in December, "under protest."

Until it's final, she says, she is continuing to work at Robins, taking regular COVID-19 tests, wearing a mask and social-distancing.

She's suing Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin; Frank Kendall, Secretary of the Air Force; and Robert Miller, Surgeon General of the Air Force.

She filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Macon on Jan. 6. The lawsuit asks the federal court to rule that the federal mandate is a violation of her First Amendment rights.

No trial date has been set, and the Department of Defense has not responded.

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