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Michele Bachmann's Message to Parents Could Harm Our Daughters

Posted by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 11:30 AM
  • 13 Replies

I saw this in The Stir - What do you think of Bachmann's vaccine remarks?

Michele Bachmann's Message to Parents Could Harm Our Daughters
Posted by Jeanne Sager on September 14, 2011


Image via Today

You don't have to be a Democrat to be annoyed by Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann this week. You just have to be a caring parent. The Minnesota Congresswoman claimed on national television after the Tea Party Express sponsored debate that the HPV vaccine meant to prevent cervical cancer will cause mental retardation in young women.

If it made you clutch your teen daughter to your chest and scream, "not my baby," you can let go now. It's a total crock of malarky.

Bachmann was attacking Texas Governor Rick Perry for signing an executive order requiring all young women in his state receive the vaccine while simultaneously accepting donations from the immunization's maker, Merck. Fine. Good. We need to expose this sort of back-door dealing.

But she used a dangerous anecdote to prove her point, the following morning on The Today Show, claiming:

I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Florida, after the debate. She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter.

What parent in her right mind wouldn't hear "mental retardation" and think "Oh no, not my kid?" It's natural to be frightened. We know what we put in our kid's lunchbag in the morning. We don't know what goes into a vaccine in a medical lab.

But part of being a parent is judging the risks. Deciding what's worse -- my kid ending up with cervical cancer or the possible side effects. And that's where parents on either side of the political coin should be angry with Michele Bachmann today. Her claim of this horrible side effects isn't just wrong -- it's irresponsibly so. She took an anecdote and treated it as fact.

Scientists at the Institutes of Medicine have reviewed the vaccine and reviewed adverse reactions reported by parents nationwide. They've come up with some -- albeit very rare -- cases of girls having problems more serious than mild fever or pain in the injection sight. But mental retardation isn't on the list.

Nowhere.

The same goes for lists maintained by the CDC and Federal Drug Administration. Neither have seen any connection between the HPV vaccine for American girls and mental retardation. In fact, the CDC says adverse side effects from this particular vaccine are even less than most other vaccines. An official statement from their Atlanta offices says "less than 7 percent reported adverse events were considered serious, about half of the average for vaccines overall." And the American Academy of Pediatrics says our daughters still need the vaccine because 6 million people contract HPV each year in the U.S., and 4,000 women die.

Michele Bachmann just terrified parents. For NOTHING. To make a political point, she gave out dangerous misinformation that could scare parents off of a vaccine that's been proven to save lives.

The whole debacle says a lot about the vaccine debate as a whole. There's too much misinformation out there, and parents are -- rightfully -- scared. But we need to pick and choose our sources wisely. Anecdotes are not sources.

I'll trust my pediatrician to tell me what to do with my kid and leave the uncovering of back-door deals to the politicians. How about you? Are you angry that Bachmann went beyond politics and into misinformation about vaccines?

by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 11:30 AM
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Replies (1-10):
KelliansMom
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 11:35 AM
This women scares me really she does. I feel though that parents need the right to choose what they put in their child's bodies yes but really saying this to get points and votes and to scare people for no reason is wrong and stupid.
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Kristine316
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 11:38 AM

 Yikes! but I don't think this vacine should be dictated for us to have to give our daughters.

CoeyG
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 11:52 AM

It can't harm my daughter.  I've never heard her speak.  She is right up there with Sarah Palin in my book...the two of them deserve each other.

kidnappedbylove
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:00 PM
I have heard that gardisill has a bad track record when it comes to side effects, much more so than other vaccines. Mental retardation may seem far fetched, but Read this from the CDC's website...

Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) has been reported after vaccination with Gardasil® . GBS is a rare neurologic disorder that causes muscle weakness. It occurs in 1-2 out of every 100,000 people in their teens. A number of infections have been associated with GBS. There has been no indication that Gardasil® increases the rate of GBS above the rate expected in the general population, whether or not they were vaccinated.

Blood Clots
There have been some reports of blood clots in females after receiving Gardasil®. These clots have occurred in the heart, lungs, and legs. Most of these people had a risk of getting blood clots, such as taking oral contraceptives (the birth control pill), smoking, obesity, and other risk factors.

Deaths
As of June 22, 2011 there have been a total 68 VAERS reports of death among those who have received Gardasil® . There were 54 reports among females, 3 were among males, and 11 were reports of unknown gender. Thirty two of the total death reports have been confirmed and 36 remain unconfirmed due to no identifiable patient information in the report such as a name and contact information to confirm the report. A death report is confirmed (verified) after a medical doctor reviews the report and any associated records. In the 32 reports confirmed, there was no unusual pattern or clustering to the deaths that would suggest that they were caused by the vaccine and some reports indicated a cause of death unrelated to vaccination.
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kidnappedbylove
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:03 PM
I'm guessing the mental retardation they were referring to is GBS which presents a lot like mental retardation. You tube it if you haven't seen it for yourself. I don't like Michelle Bachmann but I agree that Gardasil should not be mandatory. Medical care should be up to the patient and their parents.
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mamacalifornia
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Wow that makes me very upset! She needs to be more informed about things before she opens her mouth & why would you tell people that it causes mental retardation without the facts to back it up!!!

LivinDeadGurl
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Regardless, she is basing this off what ONE PERSON told her. She isn't basing it off research she has done. She is simply using what an everyday person told her. I definitely wouldn't want someone like that as president. Bottom line.

CoeyG
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 8:17 PM


Quoting LivinDeadGurl:

Regardless, she is basing this off what ONE PERSON told her. She isn't basing it off research she has done. She is simply using what an everyday person told her. I definitely wouldn't want someone like that as president. Bottom line.

She is a republican politician, republican politicans don't do research, and they don't pay attention to it.

usmclife58
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 8:41 PM
Quoting KelliansMom:

This women scares me really she does. I feel though that parents need the right to choose what they put in their child's bodies yes but really saying this to get points and votes and to scare people for no reason is wrong and stupid.


MichelleMc
by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 10:05 PM


Quoting CoeyG:


Quoting LivinDeadGurl:

Regardless, she is basing this off what ONE PERSON told her. She isn't basing it off research she has done. She is simply using what an everyday person told her. I definitely wouldn't want someone like that as president. Bottom line.

She is a republican politician, republican politicans don't do research, and they don't pay attention to it.

sidesplittinglaughterCause Democrat politicians do. Now that is funny. sidesplittinglaughter

 Michelle Proud Mom of an Only Child By Choice Jonathan



Proud Navy Submarine Disabled Vet & Vol Firefighters Wife To Jake! 

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