Vaccine Debate

The war over vaccinations has been raging for much longer than this political election cycle, longer than Jenny McCarthy’s claims about her child, and longer than the internet conspiracy theories. It has turned political, discussed scientifically, and shifted back into the political spectrum through a media that is bent on shaming parents who choose not to pump their kids with potentially harmful materials.

First and foremost, the idea that the threat posed by vaccinations has been debunked is obtuse. It’s one of the most powerful words utilized by mainstream media; when something is “debunked” there’s a good chance that people will take the headline as gospel and demand their friends and family accept it as such without investigation. We’re not going to tackle this particular issue here. This is about choice.

The hypocrisy of the debate comes from many directions. Take, for example, the players themselves. Many of the most vocal who want a mandate for child vaccination for their own protection are the same people who promote abortions. Here’s a fact that they cannot debunk: 100% of children who are aborted die as a result. It’s obscene to say on one hand that a parent has the right to abort their child but they don’t have the right to not vaccinate their child. If we’re talking about risks to a child’s life, I can assure you that abortion is more dangerous to a child’s health than not getting vaccinated.

Another measure of hypocrisy surrounding this debate is the parents aren’t just making decisions about their own children but other children as well when they choose to not vaccinate their children. This is one of the strangest arguments since the idea of a vaccine is to protect people from these diseases. While no vaccine is 100% effective, the numbers are so high that many diseases have been declared as non-existent in the United States. If vaccines protect children, then having a child in their class who is not vaccinated should pose no tangible risk at all to them.

This is all about choice. The science is relatively clear. The results have been positive, for the most part. Vaccines have helped this country. That’s wonderful! However, it’s a slippery slope when we start mandating such activities. Smoking has been demonstrated to be bad. Now, many cities are forbidding them. Healthy diets have been shown to be good while sweets, soda, and high-fat foods have been proven to be bad. Should we mandate that only healthy food be produced?

This isn’t about conservative versus liberal, Republican versus Democrat, science versus religion, or blindly-trusting parent versus skeptical parent. It’s about choice. Free will has made this country great. Freedom has made this country great. Today more than ever, we have a digital venue through which the people can be informed to make decisions on their own. Why would we need to add more mandates, create more division, and take more freedoms away from the people at a time when knowledge is increased?

It’s not a question of whether vaccines are good or bad. It’s a question of where the line is drawn when it comes to freedom.

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The war over vaccinations has been raging for much longer than this political election cycle, longer than Jenny McCarthy's claims about her child, and longer than the internet conspiracy theories. It has turned political, discussed scientifically, and shifted back into the political spectrum through a media that is bent...