By MAMAMIA TEAM
‘Chemical Rape…. torture of defenceless infants’.
These are just some of the things Greens health spokesperson Senator Richard Di Natale has been accused of. And why? Because he tried to stop the misinformation about vaccinations.
Senator Di Natale successfully moved a motion in the Senate last week, calling for anti-vaccination lobby group, the Australian Vaccination Network, to be disbanded. The motion was passed unanimously.
The Australian Vaccination Network, who peddle misleading and dangerous, anti-vaccination rhetoric to new parents, have now set their sights on Senator Di Natale. The Senator has become the focus of a vicious online hate campaign in recent days according to News Limited.
They report that emails sent to the Greens Senator included messages like:
‘Go cuck yourself u evil reptilian bastards a contagions there weapon of choice.’
‘Please do some research or go and upgrade your academic qualifications at the recto-cranial inversion university where you currently study.’
In recent years, vaccination rates in Australia have plummeted. There are now over 77,000 children who are not fully immunised. Some parts of NSW now have lower vaccination rates than Rwanda.
Campaigns run by the AVN have had a significant impact, feeding the public misinformation that paints measles as a positive aspect of nature that makes children stronger, and linking vaccinations with autism (a myth that was debunked by medical experts 20 years ago).
Senator Di Natale stated in his speech to the Senate:
“I have had people contact me who have lost children to diseases that have a safe and effective vaccine … well-meaning parents are being fed dangerous misinformation which undermines their faith in the safety of vaccines. This has to stop. Today the Senate has joined with the public health community to send a clear and strong message to those who are peddling lies about vaccines – they should pack up and go home.”
But if this weren’t enough to already have you frothing at the mouth in anger – wait – because there’s more.
Greg Beattie, the leader of the Anti Vaccination Network has reportedly recorded a phone conversation he had with Senator Di Natale without permission. Beattie is now trying to use the recorded phone conversation against the Senator, claiming on the AVN website that Di Natale had “accused me of screaming at him and hung up on me.”
Beattie then provided a link to the recorded phone conversation.
This is not the first time the AVN have used bullying tactics against people who speak out against their misinformation campaigns.
In May this year the AVN was exposed for bullying grieving parents Tony and David McCaffery — who lost their baby daughter to whooping cough — for speaking out about the benefits of vaccinating your children (you can read more about that here).
Similarly, in 2010 Chris Kokegei spoke about the benefits of vaccination after he lost his son to chicken pox — and what followed was a string of abuse that included phone calls to his home and cyber abuse.
Because that’s what grieving parents need, isn’t it? To be constantly reminded that their child has died and hounded for standing up to what they believe in and trying to make sure the same pain does not extend to others.
Senator Di Natale is simply the next victim of the hate campaign against people who believe in vaccinations and stand up for science over scare-mongering. Because of his actions, and his attempt to protect the children in our society, the Senator has been abused, attacked and threatened by people who put their children (and other children) at risk.
This comes after the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading ordered the AVN to change their name, due to it’s misleading nature. This is an order, which they are (unsurprisingly) resisting.
The Australian Vaccination Network has bullied parents whose children have tragically died. They have bullied vaccination advocates and scientists. And now they are bullying Australian politicians, who are trying to do their job – and do the right thing for the people of Australia.
We support Senator Di Natale. The Australian Vaccination Network should be immediately disbanded.
The move cannot come quickly enough.