I am old enough to remember polio. My lifelong best friend continues to struggle with the effects of a “mild” case.
I remember how, when the Salk vaccine came out, the churches in my small town organized a joint service of thanksgiving, where the town doctor vaccinated the kids. We did not go on to develop autism, diabetes, cancer, infertility or other conditions at a greater rate than expected. And we were freed from polio.
I remember when school closed because so many kids had the measles. Not all of them came back.
I remember mumps causing meningitis and deafness.
I remember calling all the married women my mother knew to warn them in case they might become pregnant, when, as an adult, she came down with rubella. My mother was too sick to call her friends herself.
My life began among terrible illnesses no one could prevent. I remember parents’ joyful prayers as vaccines stopped them, one after another.
Now, late in my life, social influencers who have never seen these horrors are treating their return as if they were trivial.
Rep. Daryl D. Metcalfe, R-Butler, is introducing House Bill 286, the Informed Consent Protection Act. It would bar doctors from denying care to children whose parents have chosen to not have them vaccinated. It would forbid health insurers from penalizing doctors for low immunization rates. Doctors could not accept incentives from insurance or drug companies for vaccinating patients.
This bill is a tribute to the power of ignorance. Pediatricians spend at least seven years studying medicine. They can sort out science from rumor and fraud. They vaccinate out of care for all children.
No one should assume this bill will fail. Please get in touch with your state representatives and urge them to vote against it.
Submitted via Virtual Newsroom