Law & Order stirs vaccination pot
I have vaccinated all my three boys more or less on schedule, but it is more inertia than science; when Everett was born, I wasn't in a community that questioned vaccinations (my husband's best man was a pharmaceutical sales rep, for one), and it wasn't until later that I started wondering if filling babies full of toxins was really the best approach. By then, it was almost time for public school, and I didn't want to face filling out forms stating my "religious" refusal for one child, but not another.
But I know lots of you urbanMamas don't vaccinate; parts of Oregon have some of the highest rates of vaccination avoiders in the country. And last night on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, I felt as if I was seeing one of my friends on trial. After an 11-month-old died from measles -- and her mom, a distracted and turbulent Hillary Duff, buried her in a parking lot, thinking she'd killed her -- it was decided that the real "culprit" was a mom who'd decided not to vaccinate her son. The baby and the little boy had been at the same playground after he'd been infected by an Amish teen with measles. The city of New York put the non-vaccinating mom on trial for murder. Seriously?
Not only were non-vaccinators called out in scathing tones for their lack of medical degrees and their dispassioned uncaring for all others ("I don't make choices for those kids!" said the mom shrilly), but the way the writers portrayed the woman was unforgivable; on the stand, she goes on a rant claiming that the baby would have died anyway, because Hillary Duff's character was a "bad mom" (true, but really) and she was a "good mom" and thus she deserved to get off. She did, much to the disgust of most of the SVU crew, who kvetched about how she'd gotten away with murder. The ending was too complicated and horrifying to describe here.
I was shocked that such an extreme viewpoint, which took the "mommy wars" media invention and ran with it in the ugliest way, was firmly established by a TV show I've often loved as the moral right. Did you watch the show? What did you think? Will you be watching Law & Order again?