You may think I am going to discuss Sarah Palin’s ‘attack map’ with cross-hairs over representatives and tweeted jargon such as “Don’t retreat’; RELOAD!” Personally, I know this tragedy is still fresh in my mind and still makes my stomach turn when I think about it.
However, I actually have another topic on my mind, as well.
Unfortunately, Palin isn’t the only one with power who is using her words thoughtlessly, carelessly and yes, dangerously.
I was listening to NPR the other night with my husband while we were driving and they began telling the story of a little boy who almost died because he did not have the proper vaccinations.
He does not live in a 3rd world country where he didn’t have access to vaccines.
Hi parents chose not to have him vaccinated.
And he almost died.
But he was lucky. He lived. No permanent damage. A lucky, lucky family.
Because many babies and children have been dying in the past ten years.
Some have been dying because their parents chose not to vaccinate them and some are even dying because other children are not vaccinated.
Listen, I am a mother of two. I completely get the fear. I completely get the panic. I completely get feeling trapped and not knowing for certain which choice is best for your child.
I do. I get it.
But I don’t get making the choice not to vaccinate your baby or child.
I have now read many articles and studies about this topic and there are millions of facts, data, and pieces of information. This research does not make me an expert, but I did look for information on both sides of the debate.
What I found was that all facts, data, research, and science point to the fact that vaccines do not cause Autism.
I have also heard some anecdotal evidence that suggests that vaccines do cause Autism.
Many anecdotes do not necessarily create a truth. It doesn’t work that way.
And now the ONE study that, in 1998, claimed it found a link between vaccines and Autism has been deemed a fraud. The man used only 12 children and has now admitted to falsifying some of the reporting.
He was also being paid $700,000 by lawyers who were going to sue a vaccine company.
So why, then, are parents still making such a deadly choice?
One main reason why:
I know. Crazy. That wacky, blond playboy model who, if you are from my generation, you may remember from the MTV show Singled Out is literally playing with kids’ lives.
Well, I thought she was finally done playing with their lives now that the one piece of data she used to back her argument was debunked. But she’s not.
Here is an article written by her yesterday.
She is not backing down.
She has parents in a freakin’ frenzy. Because I can only imagine that if your child, your precious baby, the one who you want no harm to come to for their entire life, is diagnosed with Autism, you are probably going to be looking for an outlet and some support.
McCarthy is ready to be that for you. She wants as many parents following her as possible. Because when people follow you it somehow makes you, and therefore your opinions, more valid.
Even when they are not actually valid.
She happens to have a voice. A loud voice. She is famous and she has a history in media and she is not afraid to speak her mind, to speak it continuously and to speak it unabashedly.
But here is the thing. When it comes down to it, here are our choices:
- Science and multiple studies of thousands of children have shown no negative affects related to Autism
- 85 – 99% chance of protecting your child and the children around them from getting deadly diseases
2. No vaccines (or even cutting *some* out, like the MMR)
- No known advantage as far as your child having Autism
- Open ended chance for your child to catch a disease that might kill them or those around them
I mean, even if you, for some reason, 100% believe that vaccines can cause Autism in some kids, you would rather take a chance with having your child DIE than have AUTISM?
Like I said, I get the fear and the panic.
But I don’t get putting those (now proven to be 100% unfounded) fears above the life of your child and the lives of other innocent children.
I am sorry. I can not comprehend that.
But the words of Jenny McCarthy still have many parents forgoing vaccines.
As I was researching this topic I came across a blog also having this discussion. At the bottom of her post was a quiz:
Yes! She needs to stop being irresponsible! 49.6%
No! I don’t care that 19 studies show no link – I still believe that vaccines are a problem! 50.4%
Now there is something anecdotal that scares the crap out of me.
*The teacher in me says “Here’s a link if you want to learn more!” I’m not the author of the article(s) below, but it’s still decent writing, I guess… I mean, if you like writing that isn’t mine.*
Do Vaccines Cause Autism?; Katie Lambert, Discovery Health
In the Vaccine – Autism Debate, What can Parents Believe?; Jenny McCarthy, Huffington Post