My New Found Respect for "Anti-Vax" Parents

I've spent the last several years of my life studying public health. Starting from when I first enrolled in Brigham Young University back in 2011, to this present day where I'm wrapping up my degree in a field that I've felt so vested in the last eight years, and now find myself questioning everything that I've been taught and what the entire field stands for. 

While there are definitely many different aspects to public health, the entire industry seems to pride itself on the work they've done with vaccines to eradicate illness off the earth and that vaccines are Public Health's number one crowning achievement. 

After studying and being taught this for eight years, how could I ever decide to not vaccinate my children? Which also led me to negative thoughts about parents who choose otherwise, and questioning why they wouldn't just do something so simple for their children that could ultimately protect them. 

I found myself increasingly annoyed with members of my faith who chose not to vaccinate their children under, "religious waivers" despite this publication from our church leaders over 30 years ago encouraging vaccinations for our children. My limited mind told me, "clearly our church wants us to vaccinate, these parents have no right using these religious waivers." 

That was until I knew how vaccines were made. Did you know that 76 aborted babies were used to make the cell lines that are used in our current day vaccines? If you don't believe me, watch this testimonial from the person who led these vaccine development and research studies openly speaking about the entire thing.

This led me to a moment of crisis. Of panic. How could I support vaccines when my child is a living, breathing testament against abortion. How can I be so vehemently opposed to abortion, and yet open and willing to vaccinate my children. I feel the two can't go hand in hand. Which has led me to this life crisis of feeling incredibly opposed to abortion, and yet being told for eight years of my life that vaccines are the greatest thing to ever happen in human history. 

In a research paper written for one of my classes this semester, I posed this moral dilemma to my LDS teacher who in turn had no idea about how vaccines were created. How could she be teaching public health and not know this information? I find myself wanting to shout this information from the roof tops!

My intent in writing this isn't to persuade anyone to vaccinate or not vaccinate your children. My point in sharing all of this is to say that parents who choose to vaccinate their children are not conservative bigots who are choosing to close their eyes and openly poison their children, just like people who choose not to vaccinate their children aren't liberal hippies who think that positive affirmations and wheat grass can keep their children healthy. 

What I do hope to convey through this is that I've been on both sides. My children are vaccinated, and yet these last few months have told me that there just ins't a clear answer. Every parent who makes any decision for their family is doing it out of love. They love their child and want to protect them from disease. Awesome. They love their child, and yet are morally opposed to abortions. Awesome. We need to be accepting of all parents, in all situations, who make any and all decisions for their children. Parents need to have the right to choose how to medically treat their child based off of their own moral compass.

There's many sides to this argument such as herd immunity, contracting disease, and so much more. This isn't the space for that conversation. This is a space of acceptance and love. I hope that anyone who reads this can read it with a lens of love, and share that love to any parent who finds themselves in a position where they're trying to make an impossible decision to do what's right for their family.

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1 comment

  1. I agree Paige more info needs to be shared. But parents aren’t choosing to bad because of how vaccines were made but rather from fear of what it might cause. Then they turn around and have disease parties where they choose to expose their children to horrible diseases in effort for the child to be immune later on. In the homeschooling community it I see this all the time. Vaccines do safe lives. In a third world vaccines are the difference between life and death.