Tags: barry loudermilk | children | vaccines | parental | rights | mandatory

GOP Rep. Loudermilk: I Didn't Vaccinate All My Children

By    |   Friday, 27 Feb 2015 07:28 PM

Freshman Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia recently told constituents that he and his wife chose not to vaccinate "most" of their three home-schooled children against the measles and other viral infections because "it's the parents' decision whether to immunize or not."

In his first congressional town hall, Loudermilk was talking to an audience member who cast doubt on a 2004 study by Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that found no link between vaccines and autism.

"I believe it’s the parents’ decision whether to immunize or not," he said in response, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

"And so I’m looking at [my] wife – most of our children, we didn’t immunize," he continued. "They’re healthy. Of course, home schooling, we didn’t have to get the mandatory immunization."

All 50 states require most children attending public schools to get vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella and similar diseases, although some allow exemptions for religious or personal reasons.

The debate over vaccine safety and parental choice has heated up amid a
measles comeback years after the disease was declared eradicated in the United States. The CDC reported more than 600 cases nationwide in 2014 and another 154 people infected so far this year, most of them unvaccinated.

Loudermilk also told the town hall audience he would look into claims the CDC was missing or withheld key data from its 2004 study debunking the vaccine-autism link — a fear that some parents have used to justify not immunizing their kids.

Some critics accused Loudermilk, chairman of a House subcommittee on Science, Space and Technology, of being anti-vaccine, and a prominent Republican strategist from Florida took to Twitter to call for his ouster.


Loudermilk responded with a statement on Friday saying, "My family's choices surrounding health care have been misinterpreted as a statement against immunization," the Huffington Post reported.

"I believe it is a parent’s right and responsibility to make all health care choices affecting their family," Loudermilk said in the statement. "The advancements of health care science throughout our history have saved countless lives around the world, and as a member of Congress, I fully support our scientific community."

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Freshman Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia recently told constituents that he and his wife chose not to vaccinate "most" of their three home-schooled children against the measles and other viral infections because "it's the parents' decision whether to immunize or not."
barry loudermilk, children, vaccines, parental, rights, mandatory
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2015-28-27
Friday, 27 Feb 2015 07:28 PM
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