Antivaccine beliefs occur at the same prevalence on the left and right, only the GOP promotes policies to make opting out of vaccines easier. All over the country, Republican politicians are opposing making school vaccine mandates stricter, proposing laws to loosen vaccination requirements, and falling for antivaccine pseudoscience.
Kerry Bentivolio, Republican candidate for Congress in the 11th Congressional District in Michigan (Orac’s district), hosted an antivaccine roundtable with Orac’s state representative Jeff Noble, three antivaxers, and the antivaccine group Michigan for Vaccine Choice. Orac attended and now reports the craziness.
Antivaxers frequently try to appeal to antiabortion activists by claiming “fetal parts” are used in vaccines. In Michigan, they’re trying to enshrine such deceptive efforts into law in Michigan Senate Bill 1055, which would mandate “informed consent” regarding vaccines for which fetal cell lines are used to grow the virus. In reality, this would be misinformed consent and a strategy to frighten parents out of vaccinating.
My state senator, Patrick Colbeck, has repeatedly sided with antivaxers in promoting legislation that would make it easier to get personal belief exemptions to school vaccine mandates. Now I find out that he’s an “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” crank as well. And he’s running for governor.
In Michigan, we have succeeded in decreasing the rate of nonmedical exemptions by requiring parents requesting them to attend an educational session before they can claim such exemptions. Unfortunately, my state senator, Patrick Colbeck, thinks this is a bad idea and has revealed himself to be, if not antivaccine, antivaccine-sympathetic.