Oh, dear. Not Michael Leunig, too.
Is Michael Leunig an anti-vaxxer? Yep.
Or at least, that’s what his most recent cartoon suggests.
The cartoon — which was published in the Age in Melbourne this morning, has already attracted criticism on Twitter for its apparent anti-vaccination stance.
The poem includes the line: “A mother’s love may be as great as any new vaccine that man has ever seen.”
Some social media commentators suggested, hopefully, that it may have been satirical.
But a spokesperson for the cartoonist told Mamamia in an emailed statement:
Michael Leunig is in support of the right of individuals to conscientiously refuse vaccination for their children. This support does not necessarily indicate his position on vaccination per se, it is primarily a human rights issue that he addresses in his cartoons. He also illuminates questions regarding maternal instinct and concern, and appeals for tolerance to be extended to the possibility that a mother’s personal wisdom and insight concerning her child’s health has been traditionally near-sacred and may be of enormous ongoing value.
He contends that such conscientious maternal concern should not be dismissed too lightly or overruled so belligerently. Most of humanity owes much to the natural care of a mother at the beginning, with all the intuition, attunement and skill involved in that individual mothering process. Michael feels the punitive approach by the government to people of conscientious belief regarding this matter is coercive and unjust, and sets an appalling example to society about how those opposed might be universally regarded and treated.
Related content: Tara was an anti-vaxxer — until her seven children came down with whooping cough.