After my recent series on the moral dilemma for those who are both pro-life and pro-vaccine (Part 1, Part 2, Part 1/Take 2, Part 3) some individuals have reached out to me to ask for tips on how they can become involved in educating the pro-life community and creating awareness of this issue. A call to action, so to speak.
I wish I could say there is a currently existing, organized group that I could point everyone to to throw their support behind. Unfortunately, most concerted efforts to get the message out at this point are somewhat fractured, small, grass-roots type groups.
There are a lot of state-specific vaccine education or medical freedom groups on Facebook one can join and many of these groups do offer opportunities for involvement in educating legislators. But, most are much broader in their vaccination concern than the pro-life issue alone. This may be a turn off to some very pro-vaccine individuals. Also, these groups are becoming increasingly censored by Facebook and therefore very difficult to find via the search function.
You can read more about these censorship tactics in this recent report, “Facebook unveils vaccine pop-up windows to halt spread of misinformation.”
However, I believe one of the most effective things an individual can do to educate the pro-life community is simply to speak up and be vocal in your everyday conversation and in interaction with friends/acquaintances on social media. That’s it. Just weigh in when an opportunity arises. Let your friends know that it’s true: There is an undeniable ongoing link between abortion and vaccine research and development, and there are existing morally licit vaccine alternatives if we will step up and demand them.
I know. This is much easier said than done.
Speaking out about the link between abortion and vaccines is extremely daunting. You may be cringing at the thought. Most people would assert that they just want to avoid any potential conflict at all costs. Additionally, no one wants to be that person. You know, the one who believes weird things (i.e., any belief that doesn’t conform to currently socially acceptable conventions) and has the gall to discuss them publicly.
After all, this particular issue is one of the biggest hot button topics one could choose to comment on. So, we’d rather just keep our lips zipped and not rock the boat.
I can certainly sympathize with these feelings. The problem is, if we all take that route, nothing will be accomplished. Nothing will change. The irony is that most of us like to think of ourselves as brave pro-life advocates.
So, I’d like to pose this question: Do you find it difficult to speak freely in defense of your pro-life stance, or is it only where vaccination becomes involved that discomfort arises?
Judging from my own social media news feed, I’d say the latter is more true for most of us. We have no qualms speaking out vocally against abortion or sharing pro-life posts. So, the issue is not that we’re hesitant to defend our belief that abortion is wrong. The issue is that we’d rather not wade into the uncomfortable waters of acknowledging the link between vaccines and abortion. Is this consistent? No, it isn’t. Not if we’re being honest with ourselves.
What Will Happen If We Start Sharing What We Know?
If each and every one of us makes the decision to share what we know, some important categories of people will change:
Category 1: Ignorance is Bliss
I’ve mentioned in previous articles that most pro-lifers are just completely aware that an abortion/vaccine moral dilemma exists. The more often we share what we know, the smaller this group becomes. It’s just that simple.
Once a pro-lifer has been made aware they will likely have questions and ask for proof, but he/she will never again be completely ignorant of the issue.
Category 2: Willing to Speak
Currently, the category of individuals willing to speak up is small in number (for reasons mentioned above). This can give the unfortunate impression that the abortion/vaccine link is a “fringe” belief, a conspiracy theory, or a claim for which there is no compelling evidence. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Next time the subject arises, go out on a limb and share what you know. You may be shocked to find that your comment gives someone else the confidence to speak up in agreement. The larger the category of people willing to speak up grows, the more people will begin to realize the legitimacy of the topic. Together we can bring this knowledge out of the “fringe” and dispel the false notions of conspiracy.
Category 3: Show Me the Proof
The last category of people we have the power to shrink is comprised of individuals who are aware of a possible dilemma, but have never been offered sufficient proof that one does indeed exist. Some of us may shy away from speaking up because we lack confidence in our ability to provide adequate corroboration. To remedy this, I’d like to provide us with a one-stop-shop type master source which will enable quick and easy access to any evidence request you may receive.
I hope I have achieved that goal in this linked google document which contains almost 40 pages of cited (and linked where possible) information and quotes from a variety of authoritative sources. All evidence cited in my previous article series is included and much, much more. I originally compiled this information to send to a pro-life legislator in my own state who has vowed to remove our option of religious exemption from vaccination. Hence its title: Legitimacy of the Religious Exemption from Vaccination on Pro-Life Grounds.
To close I’d like to encourage you all to dare to share what you know. It may seem like an inconsequentially small effort, but in truth, the potential for impact is exponential in nature. We all want to bravely and courageously advocate for the unborn. Let’s not lose heart when the going gets tough. True courage is speaking up in the face of uncertainty or intimidation. Together we can abolish the ignorance of this moral dilemma and remove the crutch of lack of knowledge!