**For those of you following this post for new information- Updates are at the bottom**
By now you all know I’m not “anti-vax”, so why do I keep bringing it up? Why keep stirring the pot? It’s an uncomfortable topic no one wants to deal with, it just makes people angry and defensive, so why do I keep forcing people to look at it?
Well, you’re right. I’m not strictly “anti-vax”. I am however, “anti-anti-choice” and “anti-anti-corporate accountability” and most of all, I am “anti-government dictatorship of what I put in my or my child’s body without exception”. I believe a parent has the right to (within reason), care for and make medical choices for their child for spiritual, ethical, or safety reasons and I am tired of the parental voice being undermined by politics and nosy “Mrs. Kravitzes” (yes I know I’m seriously dating myself with that one) who think they deserve to get into everyone’s business because they believe they know better.
It is time in California, folks- and from what we hear, even though it’s not being publicly announced, sooner than we think, we will be told if we have the right to make choices for our own children’s health or if the politicians in Sacramento get to do it instead.
Some of you may think this is a grand idea… “protect everyone” is a compelling argument. But where does it stop? Or do you even care? Maybe you are one of those “well, if idiots weren’t breeding we wouldn’t have to tell them what to do” kind of people. Fine. I get that. I was like that once, too.
This idea that we must protect people from themselves is not a new concept, not to our country, or state or the world. It started a few years ago when some concerned folks in Sacramento decided they wanted to take soda away from kids. Pretty much everyone was cool with that because kids shouldn’t be drinking soda anyway and idiot parents who didn’t consider the health problems of their children needed to be properly informed. Many parents didn’t care about the findings regarding how bad soda was for kids both mentally and physically, so the concerned “they” wanted to force the population into compliance for “the children”. The only thing the concerned “they” were able to pass in California was a rule about soda in schools, much to the “caring and helpful” Californians’ disappointment. But they kept trying… and they still try. Luckily, enough people in California like soda to combat this issue, keeping Californian’s rights in tact. (Believe me, I agree with the no soda for kids issue- but we all know this issue isn’t about soda, it’s about how some Americans feel they can tell everyone else how to live and create laws limiting freedoms based on how RIGHT they believe they are.)
Then, they wanted to deny aid to parents who wanted to buy foods the government didn’t think were necessary. Did you know that organic produce and many of the more healthy foods are not available through WIC? I say “many” because some of them, while available for purchase with both food stamps, as well as through WIC, can only be purchased if they come in specific size packages. Sizes which, as luck would have it, are rarely stocked in most grocery stores. Did you also know that a family who receives food stamps is allowed to have whatever they want, unless it’s protein shakes or bars, supplements of any kind and they can have no “cooked food” from the deli section (because it’s not healthy or considered a “real” food/good nutrition option)- however- they CAN go to Burger King? On the WIC program designed to help low-income families with food costs, a family is only offered the options of cow’s milk or soy milk, yet, if you don’t like cow’s milk and you are allergic to soy, you’re basically out of luck. You cannot trade options if your family does not drink milk for something they do eat. WIC families are only offered total of $8 for produce per month, which limits them to primarily frozen veggies and low cost, sale items (leaving out anything organic simply due to the expense) the majority of the time. WIC also does not offer organic dairy, eggs or peanut butter. It might also be interesting to know that WIC representatives will tell you they believe Greek yogurt is not a viable source of nutrition or protein and that a child MUST drink several glasses of cow’s milk a day in order to be considered “healthy”. They will animately inform you that if you feed your child a vegetarian diet full of good grains and greens and healthy legumes, even if they eat well and have reached or exceeded milestones, your choices are unhealthy and your child is likely malnourished because you are not giving them enough dairy and/or meat. That they will also tell you to correct the problem or face a referral to a physician to have your child evaluated because clearly, you don’t know how to care for them properly and if you do not comply by feeding your child the “correct foods” on their list, you could face being cut from the program.
They also tell parents that if their breastfeeding infant doesn’t meet the standard height and weight requirements of “normal” for their age, (regardless of genetics or breastfeeding growth arcs) the parent is neglecting their nutrition and they are encouraged to feed them more rice cereal and synthetic formula or, if they are older, more milk and meat. Oh, but it doesn’t matter what kind of meat, so don’t worry about fillers, antibiotics or processing chemicals- that’s just conspiracy nonsense- hotdogs are just fine and so is any kind of lunch meat and bologna.
Did you know mothers who attend some WIC nutrition classes are encouraged to stop breastfeeding at age 1, even though the WHO has recommended age 3 as the standard weaning age for maximum benefits for baby and mom?
Did you also know the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have determined Kraft Singles have been labeled as “health food” and approved as such for children? Word on the street is Coco-Cola is also on this new list and will soon be sporting the “healthy foods” stamp of approval, although I can’t find anything specific on this online.
Okay, so that was a giant rabbit trail in a completely irrelevant direction, right? Why am I bringing all this information that seems to have no relevant correlation to the point to the table right now?
Well, it’s simple. The system for “healthy nutrition” according to our government is really not healthy at all. We already know they are willing to fill our kids with crap and do it because it’s cheap- just look at a school lunch or the snacks they offer! They are uninformed of standard processes, deny the reality of how bad those things are because it costs too much to admit it and their representatives- the ones who meet directly with parents by hosting nutrition classes- are only reading scripts. It is truly a RARE thing to find a rep who actually knows about health and child nutrition at all. Most can only answer to questions with canned answers on a form they have been given before the meeting.
The reality is, most medical (yes, even Western medicine), fitness and pediatric nutritionists agree that their systems and standards for what is truly “healthy” are way, way off. Most of the representatives themselves will admit it and the rest of the Western world laughs at us for our idiocy when it comes to health and nutrition and yet…
THIS is the system and these are the same people you are handing your child to with decisions like mandated vaccines and revoking the right to informed consent. These are the people you are delivering your children to with a big shiny bow on top, allowing them to be the end-all decision makers for your child’s health and not only may you not tell them you don’t agree without fear of being demonized, under this new proposed law, you may not choose another option.
I know, many of you may say- “well, that’s too bad for those parents, it’s a good thing I vaccinate, I don’t have to worry.”
But have you even considered what it would be like if the shoe were on the other foot?
I’d like to present a mother’s frustrations, sadness and bitterness as an example of what that other shoe looks like. Below is a link to a mom blog I encourage you to read. I know you are busy, you don’t have endless amounts of time to review this- but I hope you will take the time.
When you say things like, “those idiot anti-vaxers”, this mother is one of the people you are blanketing into your statement. When you say, “stupid, selfish parents who won’t protect the community”, this mother, who has lived by her child’s bedside day and night while her baby suffers, is who you are talking about.
This quote particularly struck me and fully encapsulates the essence of one of the major “anti-vaccination voices” trying to be heard in this debate:
“You think vaccine reactions are rare? That the small amount that have serious side effects are worth it for The Greater Good? Fine, give me your baby, lets add them to the list of vaccine injured children. If you are that concerned with all the immunocompromised children out there that you think its worth it, that my child’s health doesn’t matter, then give me yours, come on… lets trade.”
She is angry and rightfully so, in my opinion. While everyone stands on their soapboxes preaching “the greater good”, her child is an offering on that sacrificial block to make all other parents feel better. Like Frankenstein’s monster, an unvaccinated child and their horrible, ill-informed parents are being offered up to the terrified, screaming mob.
If you think it’s such a grand idea and worth the risk and the parents of injured children should just be grateful that they are contributing to the society and that their child’s pain is a necessary evil- go ahead and offer your child up and put them on that list for your “greater good”.
After doing this, if you still feel forced vaccination is necessary, justified and valid, consider what comes next on this dangerous downward spiral of rights.
You may shake your finger at me using such phrases as “double standard” and “your foolish, uninformed and ignorant, selfish choice should not be allowed to affect my child”, but how much research have YOU done? How foolish am I if you are the one repeating what mainstream media has told you, or what a radio talk show host has ranted about? How foolish am I, if all you can argue with is screaming the name “Jenny McCarthy!” as though hers is the only issue on the table here? The fact that all you can argue with is the “Jenny McCarthy autism debate” only goes to show you really know nothing about this issue whatsoever.
Have you spent hours and hours painstakingly sifting through legal speak and vaccine inserts, cross-referencing with medical journals and dictionaries to define words, ingredients, terms offered for side effects and reviewing the studies that lead to those things being written in the inserts? Have you researched the court cases of vaccine injured children? Have you spoken to ER doctors who tell you how many vaccine injuries they see but cannot document, solely because the way the criteria for injuries has been worded makes it nearly impossible to verify? Have you done more than anecdotal research? Are you using Penn and Teller as your back up? Look, I’m not trying to point fingers or push the blame scales back in anyone’s direction, but if you’re going to call the anti-vaccination crowd “stupid” and “uninformed”, I’m going to hold you to a higher standard and expect you to do equal research and NOT just research from the pro-vaccination camp. Do ALL the research, as I have done, as many parents have done and THEN make your informed decision. I believe once you have done this research, you will see how money is the motivator here, not health. You will see how fear-based marketing is keeping these companies in business and demanding uninformed, blind compliance from Americans and how, because it’s easier, millions of them go along with it while their rights are being taken away and their families are injured with as minimal public exposure as possible, so as not to create panic or cause more parents to reject vaccines.
Am I overreacting? Probably… I mean, what else could our helpful and protective government try to do for the greater good?
Let us consider what may be next on the discussion table if we continue to allow our rights to be removed…
Removing “dangerous breeds” of dogs and other animals from a home because the government feels they are a hazard. Removing certain cable channel options because a child might be exposed to “inappropriate television”. Being additionally taxed or fined if you are a parent who smokes. Being fired from a job or a company being legally allowed to consider not hiring you solely because you are obese. Being considered a danger to your children because you are obese and are presenting a bad example. Removal of ACTUAL history from our school history classes because it might offend someone. Jail time for parents who feed their kids junk food every day. Forcing a child to attend public school instead of homeschool unless the parents register with the government and are actual teachers in the eyes of the State. Removing any and all weapons from a home, even if they are religious in nature, where children are present, no matter what the circumstances. Removing privacy in the home and building 2 way cameras in electronics that scan your home for certain words or phrases because you might be a terrorist. Removing the law that states marrying an immediate family member is not okay because the world just doesn’t understand them and that’s not fair. Removing laws protecting minors from dangerous situations with pedophiles because they want pedophelia to be considered a “sexual preference” not a disease. Removing the right to certain religious practices that are misunderstood and considered “dangerous”. Banning certain music, movies, books or activities “they” consider dangerous. Removing a child from a loving, caring home because the family prefers natural medicine over Western medicine or charging someone extreme taxes if they choose to opt out of government healthcare because they prefer options that are more natural and not covered by most insurance plans. (oh wait, they already do both of those things…)
I didn’t make these up, folks. EVERY SINGLE ONE of these are real issues on the table, being pushed in front of someone who can make them all happen right now. Don’t believe me? Look them up. If we allow them to agree to one, what keeps them from agreeing to all, even the ridiculous ones? What prevents our rights being removed in all areas?
What will stop the undermining of parents by our government and stop the random, busybody, nanny state advocate who believes everyone else is doing it wrong?
Taking a stand is the only answer, plain and simple.
Even if we, personally, are not affected by this- we must stand up for the rights of others because one day, it will be our rights on the table and up for discussion and quite honestly, if you think otherwise, you’re just being naive.
If no one stands up, eventually there will be no one left to stand. There will be nowhere left to go, and no one left to fight with or for us. History is repeating itself, friends.
You can either be on the side of protecting freedom or the side of removing it. Which side do you want to be on when your children read about this in their history books?
Here is the mother’s blog I spoke of earlier. I ask that you read it and consider, deeply- what you would do in her shoes and are we really doing the right thing by removing a parent’s right to make the best choices for their children?
If you want to review the bill or find details on how to contact your local and state government to let them know you are NOT okay with the removal of parental rights, you can find an enormous amount of information on The National Vaccine Information Center‘s website.
Thanks for reading, friends. Good luck in the months ahead.
**EDIT** 2/28/15- Well, we watched all day and the whole rest of the week for details on this amendment and it never appeared. I contacted our local representatives asking for details the day I wrote this, and never heard back. There are rumors stating the state needs a higher percentage of the people’s buy-in before it can be considered. There are also rumors that a date in March may be on the books for “official review”, and also, possibly an attempt to get it on the ballot next year. We just don’t know. Right now, all we can do is try to strip away the facade of this issue to reveal what is really going on- another attempt to remove rights from Americans. To me, this is NOT a “vaccinate vs. don’t vaccinate” issue. This is an American rights issue and we, even if we agree with vaccines and we DO believe children should get them, cannot allow something like this to move forward and be entertained.
I will be watching this closely and doing my best to bring updated and accurate information to you as this continues to unfold.
Check back on this post for updates, as I will continue to add the news as it happens to this page.
**EDIT** 3/3/15- So, here’s the scoop so far today; Still no word on action being taken in California, however there is a national petition on Obama’s “We The People” petition website that calls for the prohibition of forced vaccination in the US. The petition had 56, 791 signatures, as of this past Thursday and then suddenly stopped working, stopped accepting new signatures and was completely inaccessible even though there was still a week left on the petition deadline. No action was taken to fix this, though THOUSANDS of letters, tweets, emails and Facebook posts rose up from concerned Americans demanding action and explanation. Around 1:30am this morning, it suddenly began working again with a deadline of 3/6/15. No response from the White House or anyone in charge of this page was given to explain what happened. Many believe this was done as a not-so-silent way of saying it doesn’t matter how many people you get to protest this, it’s happening either way, deal with it. I hope this is not the case. I hope the spirit of America wins over those who would take our freedom away from us. I know people are scared, that disease is truly an issue worth fighting for. I am not saying it isn’t… but forced and blind vaccination for all Americans is NOT the answer. Allowing the government to blanket-treat the entire nation and not caring about the cost to thousands of lives is NOT the way to do this. I encourage people to focus that anger and fear on the real heart of the beast- the companies who make the vaccines, the physicians, the corporations and government officials who support and fund them, protect them and encourage them to continue making “good enough” products. “Good enough” is not good enough anymore. We should be demanding excellence. We deserve better. In a world where scientists can create body parts for transplant out of thin air, they can manufacture a safer vaccine.
DEMAND BETTER. STOP SETTLING in the name of fear. We ALL deserve better.
Please, no matter what your position on vaccines- sign the petition below in the name of keeping our bodies our own.
**EDIT** 03/04/15 – As of 11am this morning, the petition has received 118,345 signatures. We can only hope at this point, this will be enough to shine a light on the issue in Washington and prove just how many Americans are not willing to allow our government to decide 1 solution is sufficient for ALL people. Keep sharing this article, friends. Keep sharing and keep speaking out in the name of freedom.
**EDIT** 04/08/15 – It’s been a slow month with little on the pipeline about this issue. As the “measles epidemic” disappears, (because it was never an epidemic in the first place) the buzz and fear-based lobbying for action against anti-vaxers has also all but disappeared… or so it would seem. Behind the scenes however, the powers that be are still hard at at work to take away Californian’s rights by removing the Personal Beliefs Exemption Form and requiring every child, no matter what reason, be fully vaccinated in order to attend school unless they have a physician’s express approval and conformation that a confirmed medical reason prevents the child from getting them administered. Every few days, I have done searches on the internet trying to find new information and it’s been all but a dead topic, until this morning. Today I received an email from the National Vaccine Information Center with the dates of upcoming dates for hearings on this issue and one of those dates is today. I am pasting the important pieces of the email below for your reference.
“This is a big week needing your action to protect the personal belief exemption to mandatory vaccination in California. Please follow the action items below. SB 277, by California Senator Richard Pan and Senator Ben Allen to repeal the exemption, is being heard in two committees, Senate Health on 4/8 and Senate Education on 4/18, and your calls and emails to committee members requesting them to VOTE NO on SB 277 are needed.
It is important that you contact your State Senator and State Assembly Member and Governor Brown to ask them to oppose SB 277 which is attempting to repeal the personal belief exemption to mandatory vaccination.Please educate them as to why personal are religious exemptions to mandated vaccinations are important to your family and explain that the passage of any this bill will create an even more hostile environment for California families who don’t agree with safety, efficacy, or necessity of every single dose of every single government mandated vaccine.
If the California Legislature passes SB 277, the only option left for parents will be medical exemptions that must be signed by a licensed physician. “
“LEGISLATIVE EDUCATION ACTION NEEDED NOW
1) Wednesday, April 8th before 1:30 pm PST, Call members of the Senate Health Committee and request that they vote NO on SB277 today! The hearing is being held today at 1:30 pm in the John L. Burton Hearing Room (4203). (http://shea.senate.ca.gov/agenda)
Only prearranged limited testimony will be taken for and against the bill, but if you are at the capitol to watch the hearing, you will be given the opportunity to state your name and position on the bill for the record. There is a rally being hosted by those who oppose the bill that is open for all to attend from 10:00 am until noon on the front steps of the capitol. http://www.sb277.org/opposition-rally.html.
SB 277 will be heard first and the hearing will be televised live at http://www.calchannel.com/live-webcast/.”
I know many of you have already lost interest in this issue and some don’t think it’s a “big deal”. Many more still believe it SHOULD pass because the idea of an unvaccinated population seems terrifying, archaic and foolish.
Please understand this issue is not about the unvaccinated population, nor is it about protecting the community. It’s about protecting an American’s right to demand informed consent. It’s about an individual’s right to decide what chemicals are injected into their child- or themselves, at what age and how frequently. It’s about the government forcing citizens to do something which may cause them harm with absolutely no option of refusal. It’s about the government ignoring someone’s relationship with their God and undermining that relationship by demanding they do something directly contrary to that individual’s beliefs. It’s about a group of people who believe they can force another group of people to do something because they are afraid and have bought in to the media hype. Most importantly, it’s about the implications these decisions present and what that could mean for our future as Americans. As I said in the body of this article; what’s next? Killing all pit bulls? Laws banning books that may cause negative behaviors? The potential is endless on this slippery slope and it truly is all down hill from here. Just because you have a loud voice and a mob of scared people behind you does not make your cause justified. We cannot allow this to pass.
We have the power to protect our rights, not just on this issue, but many other issues in our future that have not even come up yet by denying these actions and refusing to allow them to pass into law. We MUST stand up for our rights and refuse to give over our beliefs to those who are completely comfortable with making blanket decisions for an entire population giving no care to the individual.
We should never be allowed to forget; issues like this are among the fundamental reasons why America exists. We (our ancestors and those who rejected England’s dictatorship) fled and came here to protect the people from EXACTLY THESE TYPES OF DECISIONS.
Don’t undo all that was done to ensure we could be free men and women, able to govern over our own bodies and souls. It is NO ONE’S right but our own to make these choices and it undermines our nation and everything it stands for to remove those rights.
Good luck to all who are watching this issue closely. I will be praying for the perseverance of American rights.
So, today the bill passed through the Senate Education Committee today and will move along to judiciary with only two “no” votes.
I awoke to an entire Facebook feed with nothing but posts and memes all bashing anti-vax families, depicting them as stupid, pot-smoking hippies who believe in crystal magic, trying to perpetuate the lie that it’s all about autism, conspiracy and pseudoscience. (I swear, I seriously WISH this were just about autism!!) Anyway, those who are fighting this bill are going to have to push harder, dig deeper and do all they can to help the public and our officials understand that this is NOT an “autism” issue or even a vaccine issue.
It is a freedom issue and it’s an issue about manufacture accountability.
I would be JUST AS FURIOUS WITH THIS if they were telling me I had to force my child to drink a cup of orange juice every morning or they wouldn’t be allowed in school. I don’t care if it’s not bad for you. I don’t care if it could be beneficial. That is NOT the point. The point is, they are removing our right to choose what gets put into our bodies. They are telling those who have religious/spiritual/moral/ethical concerns and conflicts that their beliefs do not matter. That science is more powerful than God. They are trying to convince the public that an “outbreak” consists of 150 people, none of which had any serious complications or reactions to the measles virus. They are trying to fear-monger their way into the hearts of new mothers clutching their babies in desperation, telling them about WORLD-WIDE statistics, claiming that the US could become as bad as these third world countries if we stop vaccinating- not bringing up the reality that most of these diseases effect these places because of poor sanitation, lack of resources and clean water- NOT because of vaccinations.
But once again, the vaccines are not the issue. I’m not afraid of vaccines. I’m not saying they don’t work or that they are all horrible for you. I’m simply saying- it’s not YOUR RIGHT to tell me I have to get one. Or five. Or 49 by the time I’m 5 years old.
Anyway, that’s all I have to say on that for now. Your thoughts, challenges, arguments and concerns are welcome and encouraged. Please leave a comment, share this with a friend and let’s talk about it.
**EDIT** 4/29/15 – The bill passed easily through the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday with only 1 “no” vote. It will now move forward to the Senate Appropriations Committee. There is nothing more I can say that I haven’t already.
**EDIT** 5/14/15 – Today Senator Joel Anderson spoke on the floor regarding this bill and posted the video. I am amazed and excited to see someone of his position take this stance, mirroring everything I’ve said in this article and MORE to encourage his fellow senators to vote NO on this bill unless religious exemptions are added. Well done, Senator!
If you have not seen the video yet, here it is:
Senate Bill 277 violates parental rights and infringes upon Californians’ basic fundamental right to freely exercise their faith. As legislators, one of our most basic responsibilities is to protect individual rights, not trample them by violating one’s faith. Inserting state government between the sacred parent-child relationship is wrong. I opposed SB 277 on the Senate Floor and will continue to fight to protect parental rights and religious liberties anywhere they are threatened.
06/26/15 – Yesterday, while everyone was freaking out about the Confederate flag and worrying about whether gays would get the right to marry, this bill passed through one more level. Running short on time, I’m going to copy/paste the ruling for you below, with the link to the article I pulled it from. Go sign a petition. Get the governor to reconsider this, or at the very least, amend it to include delayed vaccine schedules or greater accountability to vaccine manufacturers to be held accountable for vaccine injuries.
The bill approved by the California Assembly Thursday strikes down the state’s personal belief exemption, which allows parents to opt their children out of vaccinations for religious reasons. Under the new rules, only children with serious health problems (such as a compromised immune system) would be exempt from mandatory vaccination schedules, and those who opt out will have to be homeschooled.
The legislation now goes to California Gov. Jerry Brown (D). According to the Los Angeles Times, it’s unclear if Brown will sign it.”
Read the full Washington Post article HERE.