Jenny McCarthy has defended her position on the divisive issue of vaccination. In an op-ed published this Saturday, the 41-year-old former Playboy model and cohost of The View wrote, "I am not 'anti-vaccine.'"
In her passionate article for the Chicago Sun-Times, she said that "blatantly inaccurate blog posts" had misrepresented her true position.
"I am, in fact, 'pro-vaccine' and for years I have been wrongly branded as 'anti-vaccine,'" she said.
Ms. McCarthy's 11-year-old son, Evan, was announced to have been diagnosed with autism in 2007. Alluding to the diagnosis, she said this weekend that her son had inspired her to question the recommended vaccine schedule.
"I believe in the importance of a vaccine program and I believe parents have the right to choose one poke per visit. I’ve never told anyone to not vaccinate. Should a child with the flu receive six vaccines in one doctor visit? Should a child with a compromised immune system be treated the same way as a robust, healthy child? Shouldn’t a child with a family history of vaccine reactions have a different plan? Or at least the right to ask questions?"
Ms. McCarthy also argued that this wasn't a departure from her former beliefs on the issue. "This is not a change in my stance nor is it a new position that I have recently adopted." Instead, she said, in the divisive climate, she sees herself in the "gray zone," reiterating that she believes "one size does not fit all."
"God help us all if gray is no longer an option," concluded Ms. McCarthy.
In 2010, she wrote a piece for the Huffington Post in which she claimed that the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) caused her son's autism.
In 2009, she explained to Time magazine that she thought the polio vaccine was unsafe and explained she didn't recommend it:
"It's going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it's their f___ing fault that the diseases are coming back. They're making a product that's s___. If you give us a safe vaccine, we'll use it. It shouldn't be polio versus autism."