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Anti Vaxxers Sneak Into Autism Awareness Day

Facebook inexplicably uses anti-vaccine crusader Jenny McCarthy's image to lead off Autism Awareness Day.

Penn and Teller's Bulls&#t (NSFW)

Speaking as someone who has spent time in countries that did not have vaccination programs and the devastation wrought by that, I really have a hard time with this:

On this year’s World Autism Awareness Day, held every April 2, Facebook’s official charity page shared an image from actress Jenny McCarthy.

The “Non-Profits on Facebook” page shared the image, which read, “We support World Autism Awareness Day 2014,” and encouraged people to like and share it.

McCarthy and her organization, Generation Rescue, have faced scrutiny over the issue of childhood vaccinations.

McCarthy has claimed that vaccinations are responsible for the mysterious rise in autism spectrum disorders, noting that the current childhood vaccine schedule contains more vaccines than the schedule in the late 1990s.

Sadly, another high profile celeb has also aped McCarthy's unfounded allegations and has publicly stated she will not have her child vaccinated:

Kristin Cavallari knows a lot of people don't support her choice to not vaccinate her son, Camden -- and, presumably, her yet-to-be-born second baby boy -- but she says it's a personal decision that parents have to make for themselves. [..]

Cavallari's opinion on vaccines first came to light earlier this month, when she confessed on the Fox Business show The Independents that she hadn't vaccinated Camden. "You know what, I've read too many books about autism," she said. "There is a pediatric group called Homestead or...Home First...They've never vaccinated any of their children, and they've never had one case of autism."

Great, an informed decision. The push to not vaccinate children is precisely the cause for the rise in deaths from preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough. My own husband, who lost his spleen in a near fatal car crash, is now in danger of dying from a pneumococcal infection from these unvaccinated carriers.

As a parent, I understand the need to assign blame when your child goes from seemingly healthy to clearly on the autism spectrum. However, there has never been any verified studies that point to a clear causation between the MMR vaccine and autism, no matter what Jenny McCarthy insists.

Meanwhile, giving Jenny McCarthy and Kristin Cavalleri a platform from which they can advocate their anti-science views as a legitimate and valid perspective has caused more people to become ill and/or die unnecessarily.

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