Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Familiar Story

Family endures bullying, threats for unvaccinated child, Utah mom says

SALT LAKE CITY — The national debate over measles and vaccines has been in the headlines a lot lately and is becoming very personal for one Utah mom.
Family play dates keep Ursula Porter's children buffered from the blows of online bullying. Friday, she took her kids to play on the slides and swings at a Salt Lake County park.
Ursula Porter and her husband have five kids between ages 2 and 9. Porter said she vaccinated four of them but three suffered severe reactions.
We started off as a vaccine family, and I was very confident in it,” said Porter.
However, Poarter said began to notice dramatic changes in her children’s health, and one of her kids suffered lifelong damages after the vaccines.
“I started studying and we realized that vaccines were not for us,” said Porter. “It didn't work with our kids genetic makeup.”
Porter said she and other parents in the community, who also choose not to vaccinate their kids, continue receiving threats on social media. She said it has taken a toll on her family.
“We’ve had people say if you're not vaccinated, we really don't want you to come to our playdates. So we just avoid situations like that,” Porter said. “I try not to put my kids in a situation where they're going to feel that.”
Porter said one particular threat cut deep.
“I’ve had people tell me that I should be reported to Child Protective Services for not vaccinating my children and for not taking care of them,” she said.
In a statement, the Utah Department of Child and Family Services said, "Vaccinations are not required by law. As such, this alone would not meet the criteria for a child abuse or neglect investigation."
Viewers also gave their opinions on KSL-TV's Facebook page:
One person wrote: "If people want to make the irresponsible choice, because they feel it's their right, they must also accept the consequence.”
Porter said she understands people's fear.
“We’re the kind of family, if my kids had a cold, I don’t take them to church,” she said.
Now she is asking for compassion.
“We all have a goal for our kids and for our families and that's to be healthy, strong, and not live with these diseases,” said Porter. “We can all take different paths to that.”
Porter also said families who do not vaccinate their children do their homework and make the best choice for their families.
“We do research and make an educated choice,” she said.

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