South Dakota Public Broadcasting has an article about the District 21 State Senate race, and the competitive nature of the race between Erin Tobin and Lee Qualm as it results to Qualm’s sponsorship of anti-vaxxer legislation:
This past legislative session Qualm introduced a bill to remove immunization requirements for children entering public school. It didn’t pass.
“It’s unfairly labeled as a vaccination bill. It’s more about health freedom and the ability—you know, it’s your body and you should be able to choose what you do with it,” Qualm says.
The nurse practitioner says the Qualm’s bill didn’t serve the medically vulnerable populations of South Dakota well and could have resulted in unnecessary disease.
“It’s so important to reach out to experts in the field,” Tobin says. “And I do this every day at work. Different healthcare systems, different healthcare providers, because we need to have all of the information before we go and make big decisions that effect—directly effect—the health and wellness and disease levels in the people in our communities and in the vulnerable populations.”
When Rep. Qualm claims “it’s unfairly labeled as a vaccination bill,” I have to call shenanigans on his attempts to back-pedal on the purpose of the measure, especially due to his claim in committee where he served as his own “expert” on HB 1235, and was citing utter nonsense about vaccinations:
Qualm said he is worried about consent that parents receive and his assertion of a link between autism and vaccinations, although it’s unclear where that research has come from.
The Secretary of Health refuted that claim with a statement from Autism Speaks.
House Bill 1235 was absolutely an anti-vaxxer measure, and no matter how Rep Qualm tries to run away from his bill, it might be the anchor that drags him down.