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Pro-Disease Activists Attack Grieving Parents of Baby Killed by Whooping Cough

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Sorta transcript:

Riley Hughes was born a healthy baby boy on February 13, 2015 in Australia. Three weeks later, he contracted whooping cough, and a week after that he died in his parents’ arms.

Riley’s parents want to use his tragic story to tell the world that whooping cough could be eradicated in Australia and elsewhere if everyone decided to vaccinate both themselves and their children and continued to get booster shots every 5-10 years.

So they started a Facebook page called Light for Riley, in which they ask for people to remember Riley and get vaccinated. It’s an amazing thing for these parents, who are still grieving the loss of their child less than two months ago, to turn their loss into something so positive for the world.

And as inspiring as their actions are, equally horrific and depressing are the actions of the pro-disease, anti-vaccination crowd who have rushed to flood Riley’s parents with epithets, accusing them of spreading “bullshit” lies and inciting hatred.

This isn’t really surprising, as the Australian anti-vaccinationists are particularly vile. The Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network, formerly known as the Australian Vaccination Network before they were forced to change their name to stop misleading people, posted this horrific ad on Facebook recently, in which they compare vaccination to rape because it’s “forced penetration.”

If you’ve ever had a vaccination, and I hope you have, I’m sure you already know how disgusting and ridiculous that assertion is. If anything, it could be compared to a forced pinch on the arm. A forced pinch on the arm that keeps you from dying. And keeps babies from dying. And keeps immunocompromised people from dying. And gets you a sticker and sometimes a lollipop afterwards.

So once again, please get your pertussis booster shot! And if you’re so inclined, “like” the Light for Riley page on Facebook and show Riley’s parents a bit of support against the ignorant hordes.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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6 Comments

  1. April 30, 2015 at 4:10 pm —

    Unsurprising (antivaxxers attacking the Hughes, that is).

    And of course, they call themselves ‘skeptic’. Like you said, they should stop using the word ‘skeptic’.

    Not to mention if you’ve ever been sexually assaulted (and I hope you haven’t), the comparison between rape and vaccines is offensive.

    And yeah, I can tell you’ve gotten a lot of patronage this month. The quality’s improved, and you’ve had, what? Three in the past week?

    • April 30, 2015 at 7:16 pm —

      Jon Brewer,

      I agree. Even their new name “The Australian Vaccination Skeptics” is misleading to say the least. They’re not “skeptics” they’re deniers. Skeptics try to base their conclusions on science. People like these guys believe the scientific community is involved in some sort of conspiracy to cover up “the truth” for no good reason.

      • May 1, 2015 at 1:17 pm —

        I was also referring to the first article I read by Rebecca, she said that 9/11 truthers should stop stealing the word ‘skeptic’.

  2. May 1, 2015 at 5:50 am —

    Yeah, vaccination is forced penetration and wiping shit off a baby’s ass is sexual assault (and I can tell you that MANY babies cry and fight with all their might. Quite often vaccinations are a walk in the park compared to that).
    Do these people know no shame?
    Oh right, they don’t.
    Also, MY vaccination cannot be considered “forced penetration” in any way shape or form because I actively TELL the doc to stick that needle into my arm.
    Which makes vaccination what, kinky sex?

    • May 1, 2015 at 1:18 pm —

      One would have to wonder what they think of colon irrigation. Oh wait, silly me, IOKIYAN (It’s okay if you’re a naturopath.)

  3. May 3, 2015 at 6:20 pm —

    Could I just say that this absinthe-only sex ed seems a remarkably bad idea?

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