As a mother, I put my parenting decisions above all else. Nobody knows my son better than me, and the choices I make about how to care for him are no one’s business but my own. So, when other people tell me how they think I should be raising my child, I simply can’t tolerate it. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, I fully stand behind my choices as a mom, including my choice not to vaccinate my son, because it is my fundamental right as a parent to decide which eradicated diseases come roaring back.
The decision to cause a full-blown, multi-state pandemic of a virus that was effectively eliminated from the national population generations ago is my choice alone, and regardless of your personal convictions, that right should never be taken away from a child’s parent. Never.
Say what you will about me, but I’ve read the information out there and weighed every option, so I am confident in my choice to revive a debilitating illness that was long ago declared dead and let it spread like wildfire from school to school, town to town, and state to state, until it reaches every corner of the country. Leaving such a momentous decision to someone you haven’t even met and who doesn’t care about your child personally—now that’s absurd! Maybe I choose to bring back the mumps. Or maybe it’s diphtheria. Or maybe it’s some other potentially fatal disease that can easily pass among those too young or too medically unfit to be vaccinated themselves. But whichever highly communicable and formerly wiped-out disease that I opt to resurrect with a vengeance, it is a highly personal decision that only I and my family have the liberty to make.
The bottom line is that I’m this child’s mother, and I know what’s best. End of story. Politicians, pharmaceutical companies—they don’t know the specific circumstances that made me decide to breathe new life into a viral infection that scientists and the nation at large celebrated stamping out roughly a century ago. It seems like all they care about is following unexamined old rules, injecting chemicals into our kids, preventing ghastly illnesses that used to ravage millions and have since been erased from storming back and wreaking mass havoc on a national scale, and making a buck. Should we really be listening to them and not our own hearts?
I am by no means telling mothers and fathers out there what to do; I’m simply standing up for every parent’s right to make his or her own decision. You may choose to follow the government-recommended immunization schedule for your child, and that’s your decision as a parent. And I might choose to unleash rubella on thousands upon thousands of helpless people, and that’s my decision as a parent.
It’s simple: You don’t tell me how to raise my kids to avoid reviving a horrific illness that hasn’t been seen on our shores since our grandparents were children, and I won’t tell you how to raise yours.
Look, I’ve done the research on these issues, I’ve read the statistics, and I’ve carefully considered the costs and benefits, and there’s simply no question in my mind that inciting a nationwide health emergency by unleashing a disease that can kill 20 percent or more of its victims is the right one for my child.
People need to respect that and move on.