Freshman Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia recently told constituents that he and his wife chose not to vaccinate “most” of their three home-schooled children against the measles and other viral infections because “it’s the parents’ decision whether to immunize or not.”
In his first congressional town hall, Loudermilk was talking to an audience member who cast doubt on a 2004 study by Atlanta-based U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that found no link between vaccines and autism.
“I believe it’s the parents’ decision whether to immunize or not,” he said in response, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
“And so I’m looking at [my] wife – most of our children, we didn’t immunize,” he continued. “They’re healthy. Of course, home schooling, we didn’t have to get the mandatory immunization.”
All 50 states require most children attending public schools to get vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella and similar diseases, although some allow exemptions for religious or personal reasons.