Oregon House Passes Bill Requiring Anti-Vaccination Parents to Get Educated About Vaccines First

Oregon law currently states that parents can refuse to have their children vaccinated for religious reasons (“Jesus hated vaccines!”) or medical reasons (“Dr. Jenny McCarthy said I shouldn’t get them!”).

Senate Democrats in the state can’t force everyone to get vaccinated against their will, so they’re at least trying to make it more difficult for parents to opt out of vaccinating their kids:

Senate Bill 132 would require all parents to receive information about vaccines either from a doctor or an online video before they can opt out.

After a lengthy floor debate, the bill passed on a 16-13 vote, with one Senate Republican excused.

It now heads to the House.

Senate Bill 132 (PDF) would go into effect on January 1, 2014 if passed.

There’s no evidence that making parents watch a video or talk to qualified doctors about vaccinations will change their minds, but getting scientific information on how vaccines work and why they’re not harmful for children can’t hurt. At least it’s better than a pastor getting the last word.

Opponents are crying foul, saying this is somehow targeting religious groups… but it’s not. It’s targeting misinformed, irresponsible parents who know little about how science works to the detriment of everyone in society.

What’s really amazing is how Republicans are the ones complaining about this — all of them who were present voted against the bill — when the same party is known for passing bills in other states requiring women to view their ultrasounds or listen to the fetus’ heartbeat before allowing them to have abortions. They love making you take an extra step in the hope that you’ll change your mind when it comes to abortion but flip out when it comes to vaccinations.

“Not only are we stomping on First Amendment rights, the freedom of religion, we are actually stomping on a right of a person to dictate their own health care,” said Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton, a dentist.

For some reason, I just can’t take Republicans seriously when they say they want people to control their own health care decisions…

The Oregon House has a Democrat majority and the governor is Democrat, too, so it looks like this bill should become law without a problem. The law would be stronger if parents couldn’t enroll their children in public schools without vaccinations, but getting them to think twice before doing something as foolish as exposing their kids (and others) to preventable diseases is a step in the right direction.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • revyloution

    Yay for my state!

    I do have to correct you on the partisanship comment. In this state, the outcry against ‘the government making your healthcare choices for you’ is just as likely to come from a tie died hippy as it is to come from a suited up corporate critter.

    On a sad note, Portland voted down fluoridating their water supply. Ah well, baby steps I guess.

    • 3lemenope

      Well that I can totally understand. Think of all the precious bodily fluids that would be sapped and impurified!

      • Jon Peterson

        >.>

    • Drew M.

      What made me sad is that all but one of my Oregon Facebook friends cheered for the fluoridation thing. :(

    • LJ

      Perhaps because water fluoridation is ridiculous, poisonous, has no scientific benefit. That’s why almost every developed country in the world has banned it. Just takes a while for America to catch up.

      • RobMcCune

        Perhaps because water fluoridation is ridiculous, poisonous, has no scientific benefit.

        Yes, those are the reasons, though none of them are true.Other countries do fluoridate water, though more fluoridate salt, so the idea that all other countries have banned it is just false.

        Just takes a while for America to catch up.

        Sadly yes, some people are still stuck in 1950′s John Birch conspiracy land.

      • Chelsea Frost

        Are you seriously stupid, or just trolling?

    • Echosam

      Yea, most of the anti-vaccine people I have met are also in the “Monsanto is Evil” crowd. Anti-GMO, anti-vaccine. I haven’t met anyone anti-vaccine due to religion yet. Probably fortunate, my brain would probably explode being exposed to that much stupid in one person.

      • Jitterbits

        Anti-Monsanto is a very sane position to take. They may not be evil, inasmuch as evil doesn’t really exist, but they certainly lack ethics, even by corporate standards, and have done incredible harm to farmers worldwide.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Aye. I’m very anti-Monsanto-style GMO crops and anti-Monstanto business practices, while still being very much for genetic engineering of food crops for other, more useful purposes. I think it’s a crying shame that golden rice is locked up in a warehouse somewhere, for instance.

  • 3lemenope

    While it is hard to take the argument against this seriously because of its source, it would be worth it to try anyway. That a person is an ass does not make them wrong, and that an argument is self-serving does not mean that it is wrong either.

    I think that injecting the law deeply and intrusively into what ought to be a professional, medical fact-driven consultation between doctor and patient is dangerous regardless of the intent behind it precisely because people with the best intentions use such methods to pursue goals most us would consider harmful (degrading a woman’s right to choose the disposition of their pregnancy). I think before a weapon is picked up and wielded in a given context, it bears reflecting upon how the weapon might be turned against you, and whether using it yourself makes you more vulnerable to its fire.

    • Matt

      Fair enough, but you also have to levy risk/reward here. In this case, the information is vital because we are starting to breed a generation of people who believe all of the scare tactics anti-vac bullshit that has been spewing lately. The more and more people that forgoe vaccinations for their children, the greater the possibility that these dangerous and deadly diseases can be reintroduced to the public at large.

      • 3lemenope

        I’m actually more comfortable with a law simply requiring people be vaccinated. I think trying to end run around what is necessary ends up doing collateral damage to the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship, not to mention the political process.

    • C Peterson

      But… how does this law in any way intrude in a decision between a doctor and a patient? All it does is ensure that a patient-doctor dialog actually occurs.

      Society has a legitimate interest in maximizing the number of children vaccinated, because there are people who legitimately, for medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated, and therefore depend for their own health on the vaccination status of others.

      • 3lemenope

        If that is the goal, then just make vaccines mandatory by law. People aren’t generally allowed to act in ways that are directly harmful to others, and stubbornly not being vaccinated qualifies in that regard.

        • C Peterson

          I would have no problem with making vaccination mandatory, excepting medical reasons. But that probably isn’t politically viable. So I think requiring that anybody declining vaccination of their children be required to demonstrate that a doctor has discussed vaccination with them is reasonable- and pretty non-intrusive. And it’s not a requirement, only a condition associated with placing your children into a public school.

          I know two families who don’t vaccinate their kids. In neither case is the decision based on religion. In both, the parents have simply done a poor job of filtering out information they picked up on the Internet. They read that vaccinations are dangerous, and decided to skip them. There’s every reason to think that simply requiring them to talk with a physician before entering their kids in school would change their minds.

          • 3lemenope

            There’s every reason to think that simply requiring them to talk with a physician before entering their kids in school would change their minds.

            The specific rhetoric that primes people in our society to reject vaccines inoculates them against just such a vector of good information. Remember, doctors are just shills for big pharma. The more they are told by a *doctor* that they must get their children vaccinated (which is what anti-vaxxers done warned them would happen if they talk to a doctor) the more likely that they are going to be confirmed in their beliefs, not less.

            This dynamic should be familiar from the myriad cases of any biologist or geologist attempting to persuade a creationist away from their beliefs. And now the big bad government (which is in the pocket of Big Pharma!) is telling the few remaining hold-outs, the “good” doctors, that they must buy in to vaccines too!

            You can’t win an argument like that. People will retrench into stupidity just to spite you. If it truly is important enough (and this is, being a serious matter of public health) the proper course is to not let people act on their dangerous beliefs. Then they can believe whatever stupid conspiracy theories they want but their kids won’t spread the mumps around.

        • Amakudari

          I’m assuming mandatory vaccination just wasn’t politically possible. IIRC most states have laws on the books that require kids to be vaccinated before entering school unless the parents have sincerely held beliefs against vaccination. So mandating vaccination essentially means removing allowance for personal and (more controversially) religious beliefs. I can imagine legislators not wanting to pick that fight.

          I have no idea whether showing a video is effective, of course. Frankly, I bet parents who are anti-vaccination will tune it out. I’m just not sure that from school age onward more mandatory vaccination is an option.

          • 3lemenope

            I am always leery in the extreme of claims of political impossibility. Given the actual history of democracy and the many impossible things that legislatures have in fact managed to do, it often is a stand-in for the notion that politicians simply want an easier way out of doing something more difficult. Generally speaking, what drives the impossible to be done is the failure of what was considered possible.

            This policy is in every way inferior to one that simply mandates vaccination, to the point that I think it unlikely it will have a positive impact at all (and may well actually boomerang, given how people tend to react to information from sources they’re already primed to distrust). When vaccination rates continue to decline in Oregon (if I am correct, this will occur; a testable prediction! :) , politicians will discover quickly all the fine things they can do that they previous thought were impossible.

            • Amakudari

              I think the narrow margin by which this passed suggests that the votes really weren’t there for much more.

              But don’t misunderstand, I’m not asserting long-run political impossibility, just a lack of votes today. If vaccination rates decline, sure, I can see more aggressive action. On the other hand, it’s because rates have already declined that the current, modestly more aggressive legislative action was undertaken. The state legislature is being predictably reactive.

              • 3lemenope

                Quite so. I just don’t understand the enthusiasm for half-measures that probably won’t address the problem and possibly will make it worse, or that for side-stepping the eminently reasonable counterargument that instructing a doctor as to what they must tell a patient isn’t the sort of thing a government should be doing simply because the people making the argument are laughable hypocrites.

                It seems like people care more that we’re trying to go in the right direction, rather than whether we’re actually making progress in traveling that way.

                • C Peterson

                  I don’t detect much “enthusiasm” here, just a recognition that this is a small step in the right direction. If we look at the causes that tend to have pretty wide support with our crowd here, small steps pretty well describes what we’re used to.

                  And again, there is nothing in this bill that instructs a doctor what to say to his patient. A doctor can freely say that he believes vaccination is dangerous. What constitutes “risks and benefits” is left entirely up to the doctor. The law merely requires that a person who declines vaccination for their children talk to a doctor. It’s a simple attempt to mandate at least some minimal degree of education on the subject to parents.

                  Outside the ultrafundies and Tea Party crackpots who consider anything done by the government (except for starting wars and killing prisoners) to be wrong, I don’t see how this bill is going to change people’s minds in a way that makes things worse.

                • 3lemenope

                  The law merely requires that a person who declines vaccination for their children talk to a doctor.

                  No, it does not. Read the legislation.

                • C Peterson

                  I did. What are you seeing that dictates the content of the discussion, or that requires the doctor to take any particular position?

                • 3lemenope

                  The legislation does not require a person who declines vaccination for their child to talk to a doctor. Hence when you wrote:

                  The law merely requires that a person who declines vaccination for their children talk to a doctor.

                  I responded with, uh, “No, it does not.”

                  Because it doesn’t.

                • C Peterson

                  That’s true, there is another option. But the one I mentioned is the only one relevant to your concern about the law somehow dictating medical behavior, or getting involved in the doctor/patient relationship… a concern I don’t understand in this case.

                • 3lemenope

                  Whenever a duty is created under the law, courts inevitably must resolve controversies surrounding their fulfillment (else they are unenforceable and thus inoperable). So there will at some point or other be a case with a fact pattern like: doctor mentions vaccines but doesn’t go into depth, parent makes a decision based on convo, child ends up being harmed (either way), parent sues doctor, alleging that the doctor did not fulfill his duty to explain vaccines under the law.

                  Now, some laws are quite detailed on the standards of behavior required to fulfill their prescriptions. This one happens to not be at all, which only means that courts must create them post hoc to deal with cases as they arise. Interestingly the legislators here noted this problem as to the *other* option, specifying that the Internet video option must be consistent with CDC vaccine info and approved by the Oregon medical regulatory department, which means that videos which do not meet these two criteria would not fulfill the duty to inform under the law. Likewise, the courts will have to determine what suffices to fulfill the doctor-informing-patient option if that portion of the law is to have any effect.

                • revyloution

                  Elem, I think the problem is just political realities, as opposed to real realities.

                  Here in Oregon, the electorate wouldn’t stand for mandatory vaccinations. There is simply too much opposition, from both parties. Any politician that might support (the quite sensible) idea of mandatory vaccination would loose his seat the next election.

                  That’s the hell of politics.

                • 3lemenope

                  I agree that it is probably not doable at the moment. My issue is, by doing this *instead*, (because, by the Politician’s Syllogism, they must do *something*) they are inadvertently doing harm to the very goal they pursue. Sometimes, if you can’t implement something that would actually work, it’s best to not do anything at all.

                  One fact I always keep in mind is that law is a one-way ratchet; in practice it is always politically easier to pass laws than to repeal them. This, and my default dispositional conservatism, together lead me to believe that a “first do not harm” approach to lawmaking is preferable to one where legislation is aimed in the right general direction but might shake out any which way in practice. Sometimes, half a loaf doesn’t do; if you can’t get the funds to build a bridge across a river, it isn’t a functional compromise to build half a bridge for half the price. All you end up with is a disturbed river habitat, a million dollar eyesore, and no way to get your car to the other side of the river.

                • revyloution

                  That’s an excellent point.

                  Ive always advocated for an expiration date for all legislation. Hell, even the Bill of RIghts. Congress should have to re-ratify everything they want to keep in the books.

    • McAtheist

      Thank you, well said.

  • http://www.danarel.com/ Dan Arel

    I fully support this law and hope more states (or the federal gov’t) adopt this. Lets end the new era of McCarthy-ism.

    • Spazticus

      I see what you did there. :)

  • Todd Stiefel

    I am not sure if this is true, Hemant, “Senate Democrats in the state can’t force everyone to get vaccinated against their will.” I am not a lawyer, so an attorney can correct this if it is wrong. I believe states can force vaccinations, as ruled by SCOTUS in Jacobson v Massachusetts.
    http://constitution.laws.com/preamble/jacobson-v-massachusetts-1905

    • Nate Frein

      I believe what he is saying is that the pro-vaccination legislators cannot get enough bipartisan support in the senate to pass any measure requiring mandatory vaccinations.

  • C Peterson

    What’s up with that picture? The poor girl is being stabbed in the arm with an empty syringe and what looks like it could be a liver biopsy needle! If that isn’t enough to scare somebody off of vaccinations, I don’t know what is!

    • curtcameron

      I find the stock photos in these posts annoying. If the picture adds to our understanding of the story, then by all means put it in. I don’t see any reason to have stock photos or even just pictures of the people who are involved in a story, unless the picture adds something to it.

      • 3lemenope

        Apparently a not inconsiderable portion of the Internet-reading public is terrified of block text that doesn’t come accompanied with pretty pictures.

        • Nate Frein

          It’s really more a question of how we’re wired…we like pretty pictures so we’re more likely to click on a link that has one. Including the picture in the article also means that it’s included when the article is shared on sites like facebook.

          • 3lemenope

            Quite so. I wasn’t blaming us for being how we are. :)

    • Rain

      It’s the Twilight Zone and that evil doll has the doctor hypmootized! Nooo…

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      *scrolls back up to look* Jeebus that thing is big!

    • Space Cadet

      That’s the proper needle size for injecting liquid autism.

      • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

        You almost destroyed my monitor. I just want you to know that.

  • JA

    Even the idiot who published the paper saying vaccines were dangerous admitted he was wrong. Unfortunately, once people get an idea in their heads that lines up perfectly with their perceptions, it becomes near impossible to root out.

  • GabyYYZ

    So, it’s targetting religious groups in the same way some religious politicians want to force pregnant women to get an ultrasound before they get an abortion?

    • http://www.danarel.com/ Dan Arel

      This has almost nothing to do with religion. You will find most people who are against vaccinations are not doing so based on religion, the majority is being fed pseudoscientific nonsense from people like McCarthy and others who still claim, despite all scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism, etc. Outside of Christian Scientists, I don’t know anyone using religion as their reason to not vaccinate.

      • GabyYYZ

        It may be nothing to do with religion directly, but underlying it is the same kind of irrationality that governs ideas such as, “the government is out to get me”, “heal yourself with vibrations”, “I’ve been abducted by aliens” (although in light of recent news, the government out to get you sentiment just got a big boost).

        • http://www.danarel.com/ Dan Arel

          I do agree there is a religious problem in the anti-vax movement, the actual movement itself is in no way religious based. I highly recommend the book Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All by Dr. Paul Offitt, he really does a great job explaining the history of the anti-vax movement in the US and around the world and I can’t think of a time he brings up religion.

          This law is an attack on pseudoscience and a defender of public safety. It is not a direct attack on the religious or an invasion of anyones privacy, etc.Its simply trying to educate parents against making a bad choice and putting their kids and others kids at risk.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Yep, even secular and/or atheistic liberal types aren’t immune to this craziness. Some really do trade one religion for another.

      • GabyYYZ

        …a wikipedia article on religion and vaccines… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccination_and_religion

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      It’s targeting ignorance that provably leads to dead children. That the ignorance is found mostly in religious zealots and conspiracy theorists is incidental. It’s also common in scared, confused and gullible parents of autistic children who are desperate to find a reason for what is going on with their kids.

  • asfdasdf

    Your dig about medical exemptions is ridiculous and snarky. Do you think it’s some kind of fun time to be the parent of a child who can’t safely be vaccinated? Do you think it’s a party to worry fairly constantly that either choice could mean death or disability for your child? It is disappointing to see you post things like that. You should know better.

    • 3lemenope

      The dig wasn’t aimed at the (small but extant) part of the population that has *actual* medical counterindications to vaccination. It was aimed, clearly, at those who claim, due to bad info, that there are medical reasons in general why vaccines shouldn’t be taken.

      In point of fact, achieving herd immunity via widespread vaccination primarily benefits those who cannot be vaccinated by depriving diseases of a reservoir of infected to spread from. Without most people being vaccinated, the people who can’t be vaccinated would be truly screwed.

      • asfdasdf

        Quote: “Oregon law currently states that parents can refuse to have their
        children vaccinated for religious reasons (“Jesus hated vaccines!”) or
        medical reasons (“Dr. Jenny McCarthy said I shouldn’t get them!”).”

        This is clearly implying that there are no medical reasons to avoid vaccines. You can’t even get a medical exemption without a doctor’s sign-off, so why the snide comment? Rude and obnoxious and by the way, my child’s medical care is between the doctor and me and my child. In no case should the government impose this “education” any more than the government should impose ultrasounds on people getting abortions. PRIVATE MEDICAL CARE SHOULD BE PRIVATE.

        • 3lemenope

          This is clearly implying that there are no medical reasons to avoid vaccines.

          You can certainly read it that way. You need not. I think though that, given what the author has written on the topic prior, it’s not particularly *likely* that what you are reading here is intended to imply what you think it implies.

          In no case should the government impose this “education” any more than the government should impose ultrasounds on people getting abortions. PRIVATE MEDICAL CARE SHOULD BE PRIVATE.

          On this, you and I agree, with the caveat that while I never think it wise to interfere in the communication between doctor and patient, a society can mandate that certain medical things be done or not done, pursuant to a legitimate and compelling public health rationale.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Your child’s vaccination status affects other children, as was clearly explained in 2lemenope’s post. Deal.

  • Carmelita Spats

    The comparison to forced ultrasounds is dead right…Not only will they FORCE you to undergo a medically unnecessary vaginal penetration (SEXUAL ASSAULT) but also STATE mandated counseling when seeking to access abortion…They also want to prevent couples from having full knowledge of fetal abnormalities so that they can make an informed decision regarding a pregnancy…Technology is making it easier to detect congenital defects at earlier stages …By analyzing fragments of fetal DNA in a pregnant woman’s blood, Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) can reveal potential problems.
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/noninvasive-prenatal-testing/MY02238

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      It’s like they don’t even think about this stuff before saying it. I’m absolutely gobsmacked by how absolutely inconsistent and hypocritical their reasoning is. I’m not sure what else Americans needed to hear before realizing how misogynistic the modern GOP’s become.

  • ShoeUnited

    To be fair, Republicans in Oregon are not the same species as found in other parts of the country. Not that they aren’t a bit nutty. But that’s true for anyone living in Oregon.

    To make a point, I think Oregon is the only state where “human trafficking” is on the Republican party’s list of family issues (they’re against it btw).

  • viaten

    I’d like to see statistics on how many people refuse vaccination,
    receive the information, and then accept vaccination afterward. Will
    there be a followup on the effectiveness of this law?

    I also wonder if the effectiveness of pre-abortion ultrasound or
    listening to fetal heartbeats has been looked at and considered. But then such laws might be just for the sake of having such laws and their imposition on women.

    • Space Cadet

      Oregon’s neighbor to the North, Washington, implemented a similar law in 2011. For the ’09-’10 school year, 6.2% of enrolled kindergartners had an exemption of some type. For the ’11-’12 school year, after the law took effect, 4.7% of enrolled kindergartners had an exemption of some type.
      http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6133a2.htm?s_cid=mm6133a2_w
      (See Table 2)

      I think that’s likely too small of a sample size to say that the new law was the sole reason for the decline, but to answer your first question, yes, there will be follow up on the effectiveness of Oregon’s law, should it pass.

      • viaten

        Thanks. I wonder how the effectiveness will be tracked. Would they note how many refused and were given info and then got vaccinated later? Would they ask them was it because of the info? Or would they try to deduce something from some overall numbers?

        I see Nebraska had an even bigger drop. I wonder what they did if anything.

  • 3lemenope

    I find it odd that folks are focusing on the talk-to-doctor portion of this bill, when it does *not* require that anti-vaxxers talk to a doctor, and in fact provides an explicit alternative in the form of an “vaccine educational module made available through the Internet”.

    So, according to the bill, all an anti-vaxxer must do is watch a YouTube video furnished by the Oregon Health Authority and then they’re good to go. Given that, I’m having trouble seeing how this is even a symbolic step forward.

  • Compuholic

    Although this seems to be a good idea in general I have doubts that it will archieve much. Anti-Vaxxers are notoriously advice-resistant. They already have their conspiracy theory in place that vaccines are harmful and that big pharma and the government is forcing vaccines on them because they are unscrupulous and only want to make money.

    And now the government is forcing them to get educated about vaccines. I can already hear them crying that they are being targeted with propaganga.

    Stupidity is hard to cure

    • Space Cadet

      While I agree that anti-vaxxers are steadfast in their conspiracy, I think these types of laws could help reach people who have maybe been influenced by the staunch anti-vaxxers, but are not as beholden to the claims. Maybe they have a friend who has told them about the “harms” of vaccinations and have no reason not to trust their friend, so never really looked into it and accepted their friends claims as fact. This could be a good way to expose those folks to the facts as understood by the actual researchers.

      Basically, I’m okay with taking a wait-and-see approach.

  • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

    And a Forth Horseman shall ride out and he will cast upon the earth a great many plagues and those christians who foolishly disobeyed science shall become sick. And as they begin to suffer they will cry out, “Why lord do you beseech us?” and the lord will reply, “Well I did send you the Atheists…”

  • Zaydin

    I don’t see how a Republican can seriously claim this would dictate to people their healthcare; people aren’t being forced to get a vaccine. They are being required to be educated first before they decide whether to get one or not. You could draw parallels to Republicans trying to force women wanting abortions to get medically unnecessary and intrusive ultrasounds as a more accurate example of government trying to dictate peoples healthcare.

  • kenofken

    This is just as odious and paternalistic as the ultrasound/abortion laws. We shouldn’t be playing parent to adults or playing a cat-and-mouse game of what’s a “legitimate” exemption. The whole thing should be very straightforward: No vaccines, no school or publicly funded day care, and no public medical benefits for complications of epidemic disease which could have been prevented by a vaccine. There should be medical exemptions only for contraindications to vaccines recognized by mainstream medicine, and documented by board-certified immunologists etc.

  • moother

    We can say what we like about the GOP but history will judge them (and all of Murca) rather harshly.

  • closetatheist

    This should have been a no-brainer. In MD doctors are forced to hand me packets of information about EVERY VACCINE and every minor procedure to fulfill the mandated requirement that I be “knowledgeable” about my healthcare choices. Crying foul about having to hand a patient a packet about the dangers of their irresponsibility is just ridiculous – its only some papers that the parents don’t even have to read. Its not an infringement of any rights, its a presentation of helpful information that could save lives – why are these people afraid of that?

    • Baby_Raptor

      Because giving people information educates them, and educated people don’t buy the bullshit preachers and the TeaOP are selling.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Republicans whining about people coming between a person and their doctor is just hilarious. Please do it more, guys, the Democrats can use all of that hypocrisy to ensure even more that you never get elected again!

  • Dead Hand

    If any of you are down with Chris Mooney and all that, saying that liberal science denial is of less import or whatever, just stop. We now have people in Africa turning down vaccines because of their counterparts in America, who are mostly liberals. The reality that you all need to wake up to is that, as groups, both liberals and conservatives are inclined towards science denial in their own separate ways. As groups, neither of these camps is capable of analyzing the world dispassionately.

  • Rita

    Wait, wait. So, it’s ok to force a woman to look at ultrasound pictures and read “informational” pamphlets on the development of the fetus she wants to abort but some of these yahoos think it’s out of line to have a parent informed on the impact of the vaccines they’re refusing to give their children?

    • Jitterbits

      …which makes me wonder if the vaccination was to save a fetus rather than a child, would they back it?

  • Miss_Beara

    People should dictate their own healthcare…

    Unless you are a woman. You are going to be probed with this piece of plastic whether you like it or not because of babies and Jesus. And make it harder for you to get birth control because of babies and Jesus. And teach abstinence only education because of babies and Jesus.

    But vaccines that will save your children and the children around you? Leave us to our own medical decisions! The government is interfering with my right to have my child and children around them to develop early 20th century diseases.

  • Not A Hypocrite

    Hemant, why aren’t the democrats hypocrites for pushing this legislation when they balk at legislation requiring education before an abortion?
    Either support informed consent or don’t. Don’t change your mind on whether patients should have knowledge based on what that knowledge might be.

    • Spuddie

      Not at all. Legislated ultrasound for abortion has no actual medical education value. It is simply used to delay the procedure, cause economic discomfort and browbeat women. Plus the abortion decision doesn’t have a nexus with public health hazards. It is a personal choice and one alone.

      Anti-vaxers are causing a clear health hazard to others based on ignorance. A greater responsibility is owed that their ignorance doesn’t hurt us all.

      • Not A Hypocrite

        Actually, it’s used to show the woman just what the contents of her uterus are. That ‘clump of cells’ looks an awful lot like a baby. An u/s can be done nearly instantly. Vaginal u/s was NOT a part of that legislation, but squawking about it made for good press.

        Me? I’m for informed consent. People should know what they’re getting into. And, yeah, I’m anti-abortion and anti-mandatory-vaccinations.

        Mandatory anthrax vaccines has a bunch of dead soldiers and the lucky ones battling deep vein thrombosis. That’s not from some actress…it’s from the military and the cdc. Their vaccine did it and there isn’t anyone doubting it. They’re just trying to figure out how to keep these folks alive.

        Vaccines have a danger of their own and individuals have a right to choose which dangers they face. Inform them and let them choose. Their body, their choice.

        All I see in this thread is a bunch of hypocrites calling other people hypocrites.

        • Spuddie

          Bullshit.

          No accredited doctor endorses the procedure as medically necessary. If it were part of informed consent it would not need a bunch of legislators to make the procedure mandatory. The AMA would direct doctors performing the procedure to do so.

          But it is invasive, inconvenient and creates delays and further burden on a woman getting an abortion. You are admitting it is pretty much used to browbeat pregnant women into changing their mind about the procedure.

          As for vaccinations, the majority of opponents to such things are relying on phony unreliable information. Panic, hysterics and good old American intransigence drives these people.

          Unless you are trained in medicine, it is highly doubtful you are receiving current and/or valid information on the subject. If you really wanted to have informed consent, you would research the damages caused by increased incidence and severity of diseases which are vaccinated against.

  • The Inconsistent Atheist

    Hemant Mehta is not “The Friendly Atheist”. He’s the “I’ve got such a big ego that everyone should believe what I do and do what I say” atheist.

    If you want to decide how children should be raised, then have some of your own. Stop telling other people how they should raise their kids!

    You must drive your neighbors nuts. You just can’t MYOB.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      Are you for real? Please be for real.

    • RobMcCune

      Inconsistent Atheist is not an atheist, though highly inconsistent, not sure if that makes up for it.

  • Becca

    Not oppose to this but think vaccinating parent should have to educate themselves first too. Too many parents make a decision without educating. It’s the anti vax crowd that says educate before you vaccinate :) I know more vaccinating parents who don’t educate first than the other way around. Interestingly worded article, too. Obviously no bias there ;)

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      Indeed, let’s. Let’s all learn about the horrors of measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, diphtheria, and tetanus. And then after we’ve all had a few nights of nightmares, vaccination rates will hopefully skyrocket.

      The bias of the article is towards living children. I should hope that bias was acceptable to you!

  • WVMountainMama

    Of all the parents I know who opt out of vaccinations, they are more educated on the subject than parents who don’t. They are often more educated about vaccinations than their own pediatricians. So, sure, go ahead and “educate” them. Just a waste of time. No change in anyone’s mind will come from it. The majority of parents who opt out of vaccinations for their kids have either seen a vaccine injury in a previous child, in that child, or in a friend or family member’s child, thus causing them to research vaccinations more thoroughly. As for ultrasounds and such for women attempting abortion, if it saves a baby’s life, why not? The mother can still opt to have one. Both issues are exactly the same: protecting human life (whether in the womb or outside the womb). That’s why the republicans who are pro-life are also usually pro-vaccine choice.

  • c

    Medical exemption means the doctor says the child can’t be vaccinated. Thing like allergies to the ingredients get you a medical exemption. Parents making the decision for themselves is a philosophical exemption. Just wanted to clear that up.

  • Zoe Ryder

    There are some similarities between the women’s health issues and vaccination, but the big difference is that while an abortion only physically affects the mother and fetus, communicable disease that is acquired because there was no immunization is dangerous to the community.

  • No God Cast Podcast

    But Dr. Jenny McCarthy has such well regarded credentials. She’s hosted TV shows, been in movies, appeared in Playboy … surely she must know something about vaccinations. Oh, what’s that? That’s not how the world works and she’s just an idiot who thinks fame trumps education? Oh. Carry on.


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