POLITICS

Anti-Vaxxer Arguments Taken Down In Scorching Sex Party Letter

'Choosing not to vaccinate your children amounts to medical neglect'.

16/05/2016 10:52 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
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Fairfax Media
Sex Party leader and Victorian MP, Fiona Patten

The Australian Sex Party has published a powerful letter torching the arguments of anti-vaccine campaigners, after the party was asked about its position by a prominent vaccine critic.

The Sex Party posted the letter on its website, saying they were contacted by prominent anti-vaxxer Meryl Dorey of the Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network. Darren Austin, senior policy advisor for the party, signed the letter which mercilessly casts shade on the arguments made by the group.

"The Australian Sex Party believes in individual liberty, and the freedom to make choices regarding your own life. With this freedom, however, comes responsibility. As members of our community, and beneficiaries of the privileges provided by the community, we have an obligation to ensure that exercising our freedom does not put others at undue risk," Austin wrote.

"Knowingly and willingly putting one's own child and others at risk of dangerous and preventable diseases is irresponsible, reckless, and antisocial. The Australian Sex Party does not believe that those who choose not to participate in our collective enterprise of disease prevention should be rewarded with tax benefits or rebates."

"The Australian Sex Party rejects the insinuation that expecting all parents to participate in preventing diseases is a form of discrimination."

Anti-vaccine campaigners protest laws meant to encourage parents to give their children vaccinations. While vaccines for childhood and communicable diseases are not legally required in Australia, recent "no jab, no pay" legislation allows for welfare payments or other benefits to be withheld from parents who choose not to vaccinate.

The anti-vaccination movement encourages parents to "do your own research", however doing "research" by reading web-pages is not comparable to actual research done by scientists who work hard to protect us all from dangerous and debilitating disease.

"The Australian Sex Party believes that if a parent wishes to use our community's early childhood education and care services, they should be expected to play their part in protecting the community from preventable diseases," Austin said.

"Those who choose to endanger the health of others by not vaccinating their children should not be welcome to do so in an early childhood care setting."

Austin also took aim at the sources of information anti-vaxxers use to justify their decisions to forego giving jabs to their children.

"The Party does not, however, believe that going against the best scientific information available, represents an informed health choice. The anti-vaccination movement encourages parents to "do your own research", however doing "research" by reading web-pages is not comparable to actual research done by scientists who work hard to protect us all from dangerous and debilitating disease,." he wrote.

"The safety and efficacy of vaccination is not an area of scientific controversy. The claim that governments and scientists are all conspiring to mislead us for some nefarious purpose is absurd and irresponsible.The dangers of complications from vaccines are much lower than the dangers posed by childhood diseases such as measles."

"The claims of the anti-vaccination movement have been thoroughly debunked. Choosing not to vaccinate your children amounts to medical neglect; this is a serious ethical issue. Whilst it can be tempting to imagine that we parents have access to some special kind of knowledge that somehow eludes the scientific community, it's just not so. We at the Australian Sex Party would like to encourage parents who are questioning what's right for their children, to follow the advice of the scientific and medical communities, rather than charlatans and conspiracy theorists."

Despite Austin writing in his letter that "I'd like to request that my response be published in full, and unedited, on both your website and social media", the Sex Party's letter has been posted on the Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network's website but not yet shared on their social media channels.

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