In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing disease to spread.
From January 1 to April 4, 2019, 465** individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 19 states. This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000.
The states that have reported cases to CDC are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
Parents testified to lawmakers that their unimmunized children were turned away from daycares and doctors. Republican Rep. Lynn Morris, a pharmacist from southwest Missouri, said parents are being pressured to vaccinate their children.
“Parents are getting bullied,” Morris said. “They’re getting bullied by county health departments. They’re getting bullied by schools. They’re getting bullied by their doctors. They’re being intimidated, and I just don’t think that’s right.”
The Republican’s bill would ban discrimination against unimmunized children in doctors’ offices, daycares, public schools and colleges if families have legal exemptions. Missouri grants exemptions for religious and medical reasons.
Janessa Baake, from the city of Peculiar in southwestern Missouri, cited concern over potential medical risks and told lawmakers Monday that her 3-year-old daughter is unvaccinated. She said after being denied by a Missouri doctor, she now takes her daughter to a Kansas pediatrician.
Another man said his two children developed autism after being vaccinated as toddlers.
“All of the stories and the anecdotes that we heard are very important, but I don’t think that they can be used to refute science,” Ferguson Democrat Rep. Cora Faith Walker said during a break in the hearing.
Multiple studies have debunked claims that measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations increase the risk for autism, and the National Institutes of Health says reports of serious reactions are rare: about one every 100,000 vaccinations. In the U.S., more than 90 percent of the population nationally is properly vaccinated.