The shooting in Colorado Springs this past Friday made me think about our own movement regarding vaccines. I pondered whether the pro vaccine group would ever become violent. They certainly go to extreme lengths to hurt people who don’t share the same opinion as them. The choice about vaccines in many ways is very similar to the fight about abortion. One group would like to have the legal and moral choice to decide for themselves while the other side would like to take all choice away. Sound familiar? In essence, they want choice to be illegal. Another similarity is that we are dealing with the choice to make a decision about ones own physical body. Why would another person think that they even bare the right to govern what someone does to their own body? Why would they even want to? Shouldn’t we all be created equal?
Now if you explore the reasons behind each movement, we can see on the surface that they are driven by a different motivator. One is purely about money and profits. Pharmaceutical companies are not making vaccines out of the goodness of their heart. They make money and a lot of it! That’s the one thing that has always killed me when we talk about forced vaccinations. How can you force someone to take something made by a for profit company? Many of these companies make so much money that I forget if it is in the billions or trillions. It’s that insane. The other movement seems to be driven by religion. But these are just the surface reasons. The real driving factor behind all the chaos surrounding both movements is that one side wants to control the other. One side has definitively decided that they know best and theirs is the only opinion that matters.
One side in the abortion movement goes so far that individuals kill or maim others that don’t follow their belief systems. How can violence be the answer to a difference in opinion? When you get right down to it, we are talking about a difference of opinions. The same thing goes for the vaccination movement. There are individuals who resort to using nasty tactics especially online to anyone who posts an opinion that vaccines might be dangerous or cause Autism. I think they cause Autism. However I am fine that others don’t. But they don’t need to barrage me with online insults, use of profanity and try to drive me off the internet. Many of us parents with vaccine injured children have gotten pretty used to these online trolls as we call them. We have also had to get used to getting into heated arguments with people around us whenever this difference of opinion on vaccine safety and effectiveness comes up. Why can’t the pro vaccine people just let us have our own opinion? Why do they need to go to extreme measures to hurt us for expressing that vaccines injured our children.
The argument doesn’t even make sense to me. Vaccines are a pharmaceutical drug. We all know very well that pharmaceutical products come with inherent risks. I think that even pro vaccine groups can admit to this fact. Can anybody watch 10 minutes of commercials these days without seeing four different drugs advertised talking about how they can hurt, maim or kill you? The answer is NO. Vaccines are also a medical procedure, since they can't be picked up at the pharmacy like a prescription that you go home and do to yourself. Medical procedures also carry risks. So vaccines actually carry double the risk of many simple procedures that are done to people every day in a doctors office. They are a pharmaceutical drug and a medical procedure. Why would someone think that there is zero risk? It's such an extreme view, but I still feel that people are entitled to their own opinion. But there is no reason to get nasty and try to jam it down my throat.
I recently wrote another post on AOA about how people try to bully those who speak out about vaccines. The article got mixed reactions as anything written does. We are all never going to agree on any one thing. What I thought was humorous is that I got someone on twitter really trying hard to antagonize me. But I wouldn’t budge and engage with them. I know it will eventually lead to them saying horrific things. They would probably end up calling me a baby killer or something terrible like that. Another funny reaction was that someone name Orac took my piece and analyzed it painfully line by line. I took this as the biggest compliment. He must have taken at least 45 minutes to an hour to write his review of my post. My husband commented that he is probably getting paid, since we know many of the extremely argumentative online antagonists do get paid by pharmaceutical companies.
So getting back to the question of will they ever become violent. Well I think in an indirect way they already have become violent. They are trying to force our children to take vaccinations against our will. They are trying to get our previously vaccine injured children to take more vaccines and don’t care that we feel it will put them in grave danger. They are also trying to force the siblings of this vaccine injured child to get vaccines, even though they may have the same genetic makeup and susceptibilities. Where did this all start? A couple years ago Paul Offit said that he wanted to do away with the religious exemption. He wanted the small percent of unvaccinated children to be vaccinated. Why? So he could make millions of dollars! So what did he do? He wrote a book on the subject that didn't happen to garner the best reviews. He worked tirelessly with pharmaceutical companies and lobbyists to pay off senators and other lawmakers to get them to introduce bills such as SB 277 in California that stripped away a parents right to decide, by using their child’s education as leverage. In California, you now have to vaccinate your child in order to be able to attend a public school in 2016. Unfortunately, many families need a dual-income and may have to succumb to giving vaccines in order for their children to go to school. They may not have the ability to leave their job and move to another state. And not everybody has the ability or can afford to home school their child. Some of these children may become injured as a result. Vaccine injury is a violent act against a child especially if it is forced and without consent. Vaccine injury can leave a child with permanent brain damage. Anyone who lives with a vaccine injured child knows how absolutely devastating life after vaccine injury can be. And the pharmaceutical company who produced the vaccine offers no help and is nowhere to be found.
Now back to the abortion movement for a moment. I have never had an abortion nor do I believe I would ever get one. When I was younger I felt much different, since that was before I had children. However I do believe that all human beings should have the choice to decide what they do with their own body. I want my own daughter to have that right and all the other rights she is entitled to. My only hope is that people do not use abortion as birth control. And even if they do, I believe every person should govern their own body. It is not for me to make that decision for them or resort to extreme measures to force them.
I would never take a vaccine but I do think the option should be available for other people to take any and all the vaccines that they want. I just wish the more extreme pro vaccine people would respect my decision and not try so hard to strip me of my basic human rights to govern my own body.
I really wish one day I could wake up in the morning and realize that this was all a bad dream and that people don’t really resort to extreme tactics when you don’t agree with their views or opinions on things.
Dara Berger is currently a screenplay writer that just finished writing her first feature length film about her experience raising a child on the autism spectrum.
She is a also a documentary filmmaker that started her own production company in 2003 to produce documentary projects on important topics such as mental health issues.
Dara is enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutritions program to become a Holistic Health Counselor.