An anti-vaccination group in Australia is facing backlash today over a Facebook post that claims vaccination is just like rape. The page, associated with the Australian Vaccination Sceptics Network, featured an image that's offensive to pretty much anyone with eyes and the ability to read.
Click through to see the anti-vaccine group's image. (Warning: strong content)
The post showed a man holding his hand over a woman's mouth and reads: "FORCED PENETRATION. Really -- no big deal, if it's just a vaccination needle, and he's a doctor. Do you really 'need' control over your own choices."
The controversial group advocates against the use of vaccines and promotes the widely discredited theory that vaccines cause autism. They don't. But the Facebook post even has anti-vaccine advocates expressing their disgust.
"Good advocacy, bad ad," one commenter replied before the Facebook post was removed. "There are other ways to get your point across just as effectively without being insensitive to the people who've been through sexual abuse."
The weird twist to all this is that the group is distancing itself not just from the post but the entire Facebook page. The founder of the Australian Vaccination Sceptics Network claims to no longer control the page, which is curious because members still appear to post as administrators. The half-hearted non-apology for the post was even written by Meryl Dorey, the founder of the group:
Wow! Why does everything happen while I am asleep? I am currently overseas in a different time zone so I missed all of the back and forth over this issue, but I must reiterate what another moderator has said. This page is completely independent of the AVN and is owned by someone who is not part of our organisation though he is a fan of our group and of informed choice. I agree that the image was very much in-your-face and should not have been posted here, but I am also (once again) floored that this has become a media issue whilst the children who are killed and permanently injured and their families that are often destroyed remain in the shadows as far as the press is concerned.
Let's get back to the issue at hand and agree that the important thing to do is to focus on the immorality of forced vaccination. And please stop arguing that taking entitlements away from people is not the same as forcing them to vaccinate. If your income was removed, you would feel a bit forced too when it came to paying your rent, putting food on the table and clothing yourself and your children. How we can fight to protect our rights and the rights of our children is why we are here so let's stay on that subject and support each other please.
Dorey refers to "another moderator", leading us to believe that she moderates the page. As one commenter points out, "You cannot claim to be independent if you have admin access. Social media 101."
But the group's tactics and desire to mislead the public isn't exactly new. If it sounds familiar, that might be because it lost a court case about its name. It used to be known as the Australian Vaccination Network. The group had to change its name in 2014 because people were under the impression that it was an unbiased source of information on vaccines. It most certainly is not. [news.com.au]