Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Website Under Deconstruction: Blue Mountain Clinic

Today's post is part of our "Website Under Deconstruction" series exploring abortion center websites.

The Blue Mountain Clinic is an abortion business in Missoula, Montana. It's somewhat unusual in that it combines abortion with the provision of legitimate health care like treatment for diabetes and other common afflictions, annual physicals, and mental health care. In their words, they want to "normalize" abortion "within the continuum of mainstream care."

That includes, worryingly, care for newborns.

Why do I say worryingly? Not because I think abortionists are utterly incapable of recognizing the humanity of babies outside of the womb. True, the line between abortion and infanticide is fuzzy, as the "pro-choice" opposition to born-alive infant protection laws attests. But Blue Mountain only commits abortions on babies in the first 16 weeks.

Rather, I'm concerned by this proud statement:
As per our choice-based mission, Blue Mountain Clinic offers alternative vaccination scheduling!
Oh dear.

Look. I know vaccines stir up all kinds of passions. I know from past experience that any comment about vaccines will attract a ridiculous amount of controversy, and I say that as someone who writes about abortion multiple times a week.*

But apparently I'm a glutton for punishment today, because I have to say it: alternative vaccine schedules have no scientific basis whatsoever. They are driven by a fear that recommended schedules expose children to more than their immune systems can handle. ("Too many too soon" is the catchphrase.) That fear is unfounded; experts point out that the immune system reacts far more aggressively to common throat infections than to vaccines.

Alternative vaccine schedules may also be driven by a desire for compromise. With scientists saying one thing and vocal activists saying another, I'm sure it's tempting for concerned parents to seek out a middle ground. The problem is that this isn't the type of issue where spitting the difference is productive.

There is no evidence to suggest that delayed vaccinations are any safer than vaccinations given on the regular schedule. In fact, the only effect of an "alternative schedule" is to extend the amount of time that children are left unprotected from potentially life-threatening infectious diseases.

I've got to hand it to Blue Mountain Clinic; at least their ideology is consistent. The facts don't matter. The mother's "choice" rules even if it harms the child, whether born or preborn.

*Because it's come up before, allow me to anticipate a tangent. I can appreciate ethical concerns about how certain vaccines are produced. I happen to agree with the Catholic position on this one: those concerns don't justify vaccine refusals that threaten herd immunity. But I have more sympathy for ethics-based opposition to vaccines than for opposition based in pseudoscience.

No comments: