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After the Nov. 16 Empowered to Action Conference hosted by Informed Choice Iowa, I caught up with Rep. Jeff Shipley (R-Fairfield) who was one of the elected officials in attendance. We discussed the issue of government involvement in vaccination.
“It’s an extremely in-depth topic and it’s one the public is not that familiar with,” Shipley said. “But we’re just kind of finding those key questions to ask and to explore, hopefully, to become healthier and better informed because of it.”
The vaccine risk-awareness issue boils down to a few questions, Shipley said.
“Are we healthier than we were a few years ago? Are all these kind of new medical interventions, these new pharmaceutical products, are they making us healthy,” he said. “How do we measure these things? There’s that critical question of what are the public health outcomes we want to see and what are the metrics.
“The really important question is what is the government’s role in either recommending or in some cases forcing, mandating, requiring certain medical interventions. And then again, what are the risks and benefits of those interventions? It should be highlighted for the public that medical interventions do come with risks. There are risks built into basically anything.”
The conference focused on current laws and what some current science says in terms of the risks and benefits as well as the health outcomes due to the increased amount of vaccinations. The discussion was even centered on spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) for a bit of time.
“It’s kind of peculiar that we do get recommended double doses of flu vaccines for pregnant women,” Shipley said.
Shipley was one of the leading legislators for medical freedom in 2019. The conference featured at least a few speakers who are Democrats, which shows there is an opportunity for bipartisanship on this issue.
“It’s a medical freedom issue,” Shipley said. “It affects anyone who believes in self-ownership, who believes in autonomy, who believes that they can make a decision for themselves. In the case of vaccines, it’s very personal. It’s a very invasive medical procedure — you’re literally injecting this bio-engineered product into your body.”
After years of hearing “my body, my choice,” on one particular medical issue, Shipley questioned how Democrats can refuse to apply that logic to the vaccine debate.
“There are a lot of double standards on these talking points,” Shipley said. “For Democrats, if they’re talking about it’s the right to take an unborn baby’s life, ‘oh yeah, that’s certainly acceptable, it’s medical privacy, that’s protected.’ But when it comes to deciding whether or not your kid gets a Gardasil shot or a flu shot or the MMR prior to attending school, then all a sudden it’s a public health emergency, privacy is out the window and you have no autonomy. To me, it’s a clear double standard of rhetoric and probably legal principles. But, because it is so invasive and personal to people, it does transcend a lot of the partisan politics.”