Recent months have seen a rise in measles cases among unvaccinated children in the United States, including an outbreak in the state of Arizona. The situation has given rise to suggestions of requiring individuals to vaccinate their children so as to thwart future outbreaks, and though not all agree this is the proper solution, at least one Republican lawmaker has an interesting take on the matter.
Arizona state Representative Kelly Townsend recently claimed on Facebook that this idea is “Communist,” according to The Washington Post.
Currently, there have been 160 cases of measles in 10 different states. In Arizona, bills have recently passed the state legislature which would allow for a religious exemption from required vaccination shots. When Arizona Governor Doug Ducey suggested that he would strike down these proposals earlier this week, Townsend took to Facebook.
In her Facebook post, Townsend stated that “the last frontier of sovereignty is our own body.” Rather than basing her claims on scientific evidence on vaccinations, Townsend framed her anti-vaccination stance as a form of defending liberty and American values, saying required vaccinations are communist because it forces the individual "to give up their liberty for the sake of the collective."
However, there is a great volume of scientific evidence supporting the use of vaccinations. Even the Center for Disease Control has stated that vaccinations are safe and effective and that public statements which promote anti-vaccination, similar to Townsend’s, are dangerous in spreading false information.