We look at the Australian government’s coercion and blackmail ‘No Jab No Play and No Pay’ programme due to start in January 2016 removing childcare benefits from parents who refuse to vaccinate their children
On 12th April 2015 the Australian government took an unprecedented step into the murky underworld of manipulation, coercion and blackmail. Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the government's intention for the ‘No jab No Play and No Pay’ campaign to come into force from January 2016. In short, parents who object and refuse to vaccinate their children will lose their childcare benefit and rebate payments. From 1st January 2016, the ‘conscientious objector’ option will also be removed as an exemption category. It’s a bold and unconstitutional move that has struck many a chord among Australian parents who support the right to vaccine choice. And shockwaves are beginning to reverberate around the world, striking fear into the hearts of millions of parents worldwide lest the domino effect brings the reality closer to home in other countries.
Tasha David, president of the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network, has posted a petition urging the Federal Minister of Social Services, Minister Scott Morrison, to not punish parents with unconstitutional penalties for making an informed choice about their children's health — because all parents deserve to make an uncoerced choice for their child’s welfare. Tasha is especially passionate and informed because out of her 8 children, the first 6 were vaccinated and all have serious health conditions which she relates to vaccines. She chose not to vaccinate the last 2, now aged 5 and 8, and they are healthy and vital, having never been ill or needed antibiotics.
The Australian Commonwealth Government of the day is pushing to effectively blackmail parents to vaccinate their children. It seeks to remove the right of freedom for parents to make their own choice of health care for their own children, by denying significant government benefits upon which many struggling families are dependent.
Abuse of power, attempt to ‘foreclose’ upon children’s bodies
The Government is in effect seeking to abuse the financial power or influence that it has over those parents who are in receipt of such benefits, to take ownership of their children’s bodies, just as a bank may foreclose upon a borrower’s home. However, home borrowers have at least freely entered into contract with the bank, entitling the bank to take such action. Australians in receipt of government benefits have never wilfully entered into any contract with the state that might require them to hand over ownership of their or their children’s bodies to the state.
Most vulnerable families may include some with acknowledged vaccine damaged children
Further, and ironically, one of the reasons that many families are in receipt of such benefits, and dependent upon them, is that due to encouragement by the state itself, they have in the past been persuaded to vaccinate and their children have consequently been damaged by those vaccines. The Government itself admits this happens, indeed reports on vaccine adverse events each year, including giving causality assessment ratings of ‘certain’ or ‘probable’ to a significant proportion of the adverse events reported.
Vaccine damage can necessitate costly treatment and/or necessary adaptations, but the financial assistance available for meeting such costs is zero or inadequate.
Naturally, such parents do not want to vaccinate their younger, healthy children.
Exemptions grossly inadequate and breach rights
However, no exemption would be available for almost all such children. The exemptions available would only be where the child already suffers from one or more of a limited number of rare and serious medical conditions, or that the parents/carers follow the Christian Science religion. Not even naturally acquired immunity has been mentioned as an ‘acceptable’ basis for exemption.
The proposed legislation denies the rightful existence or validity of parents’ consciences and/or personal religious views telling them that vaccinating is wrong for their particular children and/or would be offensive to God. Such a failure is in breach of Section 116 of the Constitution guaranteeing the “free exercise of any religion”.
Legislation presumes that state has a monopoly on what health choice is best for all children
The proposed legislation presumes that the state has a monopoly on knowing what is best for all children, as a ‘one size fits all’ scenario. It denies the ability of parents to know better than the state what is overall harmful or beneficial for their own children by way of any research and/or intellect and/or intuition and/or instinct. This denial is in the face of there being numerous medical doctors, indeed taught and awarded qualifications by the state itself of course, who have said that they choose not to vaccinate. The denial of the existence or value of any knowledge gained by way of instinct is also in the face of countless animals’ total dependency upon their instinct for their very survival.
Failure to explain how the threat will cause a change of parents’ minds, hearts and/or souls
The Minister for Social ‘Services’, Mr Scott Morrison, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott, have failed to explain how the threat of being denied funds may cause any parents’ research conclusions and/or intellect and/or consciences and/or personal religious views and/or intuition and/or instinct telling them that vaccinating may harm their children and/or be offensive to God, to experience a change of mind, heart and/or soul as to what is safest for their children and/or in accordance with the will of God.
Failure to explain how legislation fulfils the role of government to….
Mr Morrison and Mr Abbott have also failed to explain how a denial of funds to those families who are in financial need and who are unable to act contrary to their consciences is going to support their life and wellbeing, which is the very role of government.
Failure to demonstrate trustworthiness, and lack of any conflict of interest
They have failed to explain how they can be trusted to be personally motivated to seek what is best for others’ children whom they neither know, love nor whose wellbeing they have any personal interest, without any conflict of interest whatsoever.
They have failed to deny that this legislation arises from power or influence from pharmaceutical companies who manufacture the vaccines, to which power or influence they have chosen to yield on behalf of the people, without the consent of the people. There is evidence that this may be the case. The communications between politicians and other entities are not reliably open and transparent to the people. In cases in which many politicians who have been caught engaging in such communications exposing conflicts of interests, the said communications and conflicts of interest have escaped the public eye for some time, and potentially may do so indefinitely.
Callous disregard for struggling families and inalienable human rights
Mr Morrison and Mr Abbott have shown a callous disregard for not just struggling families, but for inalienable rights and freedoms expressed in the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, the common law, major international human rights instruments that have been ratified by Australia (including The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 which guarantees, inter alia, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” (Article 3), “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law,” (Article 7): “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom… to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance” (Article 18) and the divine law of free choice and free will.
Assault, breach of right to fully voluntary consent
The blackmail legislation that they have proposed seeks to invade upon the bodies of children without full, voluntary, unpressured consent, which constitutes assault, even if no damage ensues.
The Constitutional and common law in Australia protects the right to bodily security and hence the right to informed consent. The Government itself, in its own Australian Immunisation Handbook, explains to doctors that for consent to vaccination to be legally valid, many elements must be present including that consent must be given “voluntarily in the absence of undue pressure, coercion or manipulation”.
The right to completely voluntary and fully informed consent to any medical procedure has been upheld repeatedly by High Court ruling after High Court ruling, after doctors have neglected to meet the requirements for legally valid consent before administering medical procedures. Yet this right, one of the important tenets upheld by the law in any free country, is being totally ignored by Mr Abbott and Mr Morrison.
Failure to consider the right to compensation from damage arising from proposed legislation
Further, in the event that parents submit to vaccination under this pressure and damage ensues, Mr Morrison or Mr Abbott have failed to explain how the state, as the new ‘owner’ of the children’s bodies, intends to fully compensate the forcibly vaccinated children for any vaccine damage that the Government admits may be occasioned upon them by those vaccinations.
We acknowledge that vaccination is a deeply emotive issue that divides people very strongly, in particular because parents are always trying to do the best for their children. However, any parents' choices are dictated by the limits of their knowledge base and we have long campaigned for better information on both sides of the debate to be readily available. Without sufficient information surrounding the questions of risk and benefit for particular vaccines and diseases they aim to protect against, it is impossible to make an informed choice. For those who have not yet considered some of the scientific arguments questioning the validity of routine vaccination, it may be helpful to read Suzanne Humphries' book, Dissolving Illusions, which we reviewed a while back. The Vaccine Epidemic is another balanced and enlightening read featuring more than twenty experts from the fields of ethics, law, science, medicine, business, and history.
It's not just the more obvious and unpredictable risk of vaccine side effects that warrant closer attention, it is also the effect of comprehensive vaccine schedules on children on their immune competence and ability to withstand both infectious and chronic diseases later in life. There are emerging data suggesting that vaccinatons may serve to compromise immunity and thereby the risk to vaccinated children is significantly greater than for unvaccinated children.
Tasha David, the mother who posted the petition in Australia, has 8 children. The first 6 she vaccinated and all have serious chronic conditions. Three are autistic, one has ADHD, one a severe language disorder and one severe mood swings, but they have also been plagued with chronic ear infections, bronchiolitis, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, urinary infections, gastrointestinal and autoimmune disorders, allergies, chemical sensitivities and intolerances. The youngest 2, aged 8 and 5, are unvaccinated and are in robust health. She is not alone in her experience.
At the heart of the current Australian controversy is the whooping cough/pertussis vaccine. As Tasha David points out, there was a 71 per cent vaccination rate for whooping cough in 1991 with only 347 cases, but in 2011 when the vaccination rate was over 92 per cent, there were over 38,000 cases. This increase that has occurred among both vaccinated and unvaccinated children cannot be blamed on the unvaccinated. Whooping cough has re-emerged, confirming that pertussis is not only a childhood disease but is also highly prevalent in adults. The latter group is known to be the major reservoir of infection for the majority of the whooping cough cases in infants and young children—including vaccinated ones. Yet, fuelled by the media and insufficient information, there is extreme animosity resulting in hatred-fuelled pitted battles, parent to parent, ongoing in Australia.
No resolution can come from divisive and judgmental argument. Respect for one another’s choices, understanding, discussion and debate can be the only ways forward given that the scientific facts are far from conclusive in any direction. Whilst there remains serious doubts over the safety and effectiveness of vaccination programmes in children, mandatory vaccination, or programs that coerce defenseless members of the public to participate unwillingly in vaccination, need to be abandoned. People power and a desire to defend constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms in Australia remain the primary weapons left against this bizarre threat to liberty.