A former anti-vaxxer just admitted she was wrong. Now some enraged parents are coming after her.

Pennsylvanian mom Abbey Clint grew up in a household that didn't believe in vaccinations or any other type of medicine a doctor might recommend for that matter.

For example, there wasn't anything for pain management in the house that wasn't "all-natural." Clint believes the avoidance of traditional medicine originated from her mother's intense distrust of doctors.

"I am thankful that I don’t need to be an expert on vaccines in order to be a mom and make common sense decisions for my family," Clint told Upworthy. "It’s easy to get drawn into the emotional rhetoric of the antivaxx theories, but their whole pile of evidence is predicated upon a conspiracy theory that doesn’t hold water."


So, unsurprisingly, Clint grew into an adult with similar views. When she and her husband were discussing having kids, keeping vaccines out of the picture was originally part of the plan.

But then she started talking about vaccination with her mother-in-law who had rubella — a contagious disease that can cause lifelong side effects if a pregnant woman catches it and passes it along to her unborn child.

"What if I caught it? What if my baby caught it in my womb?" she told Buzzfeed. "It’s preventable. That’s what’s shocking to me now."

So she researched and talked to a doctor she trusted, and eventually getting vaccinated just made the most logical sense.

Clint not only got herself up to date with all the CDC-recommended vaccinations, she's making sure her daughters are also inoculated per the age schedule.

"On both sides of the isle, anti and pro vaccines, people are motivated by one thing, the love of their vulnerable children," she told Upworthy. "I realized that the scientists and experts behind these vaccines are people just like me, with families of their own, so they too must be passionately motivated by the love of their children and vulnerable adults."

"It became clear to me that the only other possible explanation that supports the anti-vaxx position is ludicrous: that thousands of doctors, scientists, and experts in many unrelated fields are somehow conspiring to harm their own children and their own families. Once that conspiracy bubble was popped, I had no problem trusting my doctor’s recommendation about vaccination."

But she hasn't stopped there. Considering the unprecedented number of measles outbreaks this year, Clint decided she'd do what she could to convert other parents who might be hesitant about getting their kids vaccinated for whatever reason.

So she created a Facebook post showing her kids getting vaccinated alongside an infographic that dispels a lot of the misinformation around vaccines that's out there.

The infographic notes the lack of scientific evidence there is linking vaccines and autism. It also outlines the many risks that come with the diseases vaccines are designed to prevent.

"Glad my babies don’t need to suffer through preventable infectious diseases. Preventative maintenance saves co-pays and saves lives. Proud to vaccinate!" she wrote in her post.

The post garnered a ton of attention, especially from local parents. Clint is connected to many anti-vaxxer parents on social media, and knew her post was going to ruffle some feathers, but that was partly the point.

It was shared in pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine Facebook groups alike. She had parents praising her for spreading the healthy message and parents berating her, saying she's putting her own children at risk. Obviously, it's a divisive issue, but the fact that many friends messaged her privately asking specific questions about getting their children vaccinate shows there's hope for more converts in her community.

Changing what you've believed for so long is no easy task. For Clint, it was a gradual process that she committed to because she knew it would ultimately keep her children, as well as the people around them, healthier.

If you've been on the fence about vaccination, the best thing you can do is speak to a doctor you trust who can give you all the genuine facts about it. It's easy to follow suit with friends and family because you don't want to be the odd person out, but if being that person will protect your family from preventable illness, it's more than worth it.

Family

Comedy legend Carol Burnett once said, "Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head." She wasn't joking.

Going through childbirth is widely acknowledged as one of the most grueling things a human can endure. Having birthed three babies myself, I can attest that Burnett's description is fairly accurate—if that seemingly impossible lip-stretching feat lasted for hours and involved a much more sensitive part of your body.

Keep Reading Show less
Family
via SNL / YouTube

Christopher Walken is one of the greatest actors of his generation. He's been nominated for an Academy Award twice for best supporting actor, winning once for 1978's "The Deer Hunter" and receiving a nomination for 2002's "Catch Me if You Can."

He's played memorable roles in "Annie Hall," "Pulp Fiction," "Wedding Crashers," "Batman Returns," and countless other films. He's also starred in Shakespeare on the stage and began his career as a dancer.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

popular

Gerrymandering is a funny word, isn't it? Did you know that it's actually a mashup of the name "Gerry" and the word "salamander"? Apparently, in 1812, Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry had a new voting district drawn that seemed to favor his party. On a map, the district looked like a salamander, and a Boston paper published it with the title The GerryMander.

That tidbit of absurdity seems rather tame compared to an entire alphabet made from redrawn voting districts a century later, and yet here we are. God bless America.

Keep Reading Show less
popular