This is an interesting viewpoint. I absolutely believe in a woman's access to reproductive health care and view abortions as a last resort. While I had a gut reaction reading this, I ultimately find that I agree with your point that someone who thinks a woman should have the right to what happens to her body should not use government authority to mandate vaccinations.

I also want to note that pro-vaccine to me does not mean mandatory vaccinations for everyone. It means I believe in the science of vaccines to keep my family and me safe. It sounds like you do, too, since you chose to get vaccinated.

With that said, I also firmly believe that those who choose to remain unvaccinated for personal reasons (and not medical) are risking the lives of everyone around them who cannot be vaccinated (e.g., immunocompromised people, children under 12, etc.). Having control over your own body doesn't mean you're entitled to harm other people. It's not reasonable to expect immunocompromised people and kids under 12 to hide at home as unvaccinated people continue to go to jobs, restaurants, and stores.

Having an abortion is not going to "infect" nearby women so they have abortions, too. So I don't think that point is persuasive. I also disagree with you that a fetus at 4 weeks deserves the same privileges as an adult woman (or sometimes, sadly, a young child who is pregnant).

I think there are distinctions in my mind that justify greater scrutiny of how to interact with those who decline to be vaccinated for personal reasons.

Rather than use gov't authority, though, I think it makes sense for private actors to institute protections. For instance, if I owned a restaurant, I'd set a policy that only fully vaccinated guests can dine indoors. Unvaccinated guests can still dine outdoors, but then there's less risk to my staff (and other guests). If I owned a store, I would require all shoppers to wear masks indoors, even if the gov't didn't.

Yet I think gov't agencies stepped in because private actors were too reluctant to set such rules. At some point, public health officials have to mandate health protections (like wearing masks) because individuals won't necessarily think of protecting others who are more vulnerable.

A big part of the resentment against the hesitant unvaccinated is that their choice IS affecting other people as unvaccinated people are filling up the ICUs, exposing doctors and nurses to more viral load (which can cause breakthrough infections).

There are also employers mandating vaccinations. I know mine has mandated vaccinations unless there are medical reasons for not vaccinating. To keep our kids safe, I'd want to require all teachers to be fully vaccinated. That's not the case yet and a huge outbreak happened here in California when a teacher took her mask off to read to the class.

At the end of the day, you're right. Some people just aren't willing to consider vaccines until they're in the ICU and finally realize how deadly the virus is. In the meantime, since we can't convince them to get the shot, we have to figure out how to limit their access to spaces where they might infect immunocompromised people and kids who can't get vaccinated yet.


9X Top Writer. Proud grad of CA public schools. Committed to justice & leadership development. Wife & mom of 2 girls & 2 big dogs. Love to eat almost everything

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