Are the “anti-vaxxers” really promoting child endangerment?
How much of a right does a parent have to their child’s body? When balancing the legal rights of America’s youth does the choice not to vaccinate outweigh the child’s right to health and safety? Many parents claim that they have a right to not put what they see as “poison” in their children’s bodies. We’ve seen throughout history that people always want to take a stance against something they see as an issue. Our opinions are what make us human. We as human beings have the right to choose whether or not we believe in God, who we marry, what we consume and put in our bodies, etc. One of the greatest aspects of being human is having the rationality to choose. However, where do we draw the line? As one article in USA Today points out “your right to be sick ends where my right to be healthy begins.”
Do we have a right as a human being to choose what vaccinations we put in our body? There have been years of clinical study that prove vaccinations to be perfectly safe and effective. At one point, in the year 2000, measles had been completely eradicated from the United States. Take into account that the definition of eradication according to the CDC is the absence of disease transmission for 12 months or more in a specific geographic area.
What is the MMR Vaccine?
According to the CDC, “The MMR vaccine prevents measles and two other viral diseases-mumps and rubella. These three vaccines are safe given together. MMR is an attenuated live virus vaccine. This means after injection, the viruses grows and causes a harmless infection in the vaccinated person with very few if any, symptoms. The person’s immune system fights the infection caused by these weakened viruses and immunity develops which lasts throughout that person’s life.” A vaccine that immunizes 95% of the people who receive a single dose against all three viruses is a public necessity. This is especially true with the viruses mode of transmission. Take the measles for example, measles reside in the mucus in the nose and throat. If an infected person coughs droplets spray into the air and remain active and contagious on surfaces for up to two hours.
Reasons to Vaccinate
According to vaccines.gov there are five important reasons to vaccinate your child.
- Immunizations can save your child’s life
- Vaccination is very safe and effective
- Immunization protects others you care about
- Immunizations can save your family time and money
- Immunization protects future generations
Does the Proposed Parental Rights Amendment Condemn the “Anti-Vaxxer”?
Naturally, there will always be extremists. In this case the “anti-vaxxer” parents are making the headlines. Parents have many legal rights over their children. The proposed Parental Rights Amendment states that “the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.” However, section four of the Parental Rights Amendment states that, “this article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life.” The fundamental question is whether or not a parent has a right to risk the health of their child by placing them at risk and volunteering them to host a virus like measles. Especially in this case, where there are easily accessible and preventative vaccinations? The federally funded program Vaccines for Children provides vaccines at no cost to low income children. Somewhere along the way we became a country that bases it’s facts in biased media propaganda that may or not be scientifically based.